Thursday, January 3, 2008

Companies compete for I-69 construction

Nueces County Record - Jan. 3, 2008
Companies with Texas, U.S. and international experience are competing to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor-69 - one of the state's priority transportation projects.

Two private sector groups submitted proposals and qualifications to compete for the development of TTC-69, a multi-use transportation system stretching from Northeast Texas to Mexico.

"Inviting the private sector to invest in our transportation system is one of our strategies to meet the growing transportation needs of Texas," said Michael W. Behrens, TxDOT executive director. "We are focused on these five goals: reducing congestion, enhancing safety, expanding economic opportunity, improving air quality, and increasing the value of transportation assets."

One proposal was submitted by Bluebonnet Infrastructure Investors, led by Cintra. Team members include Citigroup, Earth Tech, Blanton & Associates, Maunsell, Othon and W.W. Webber.

A proposal was also submitted by Texas-based Zachry American Infrastructure and ACS Infrastructure Development Inc. Team members include Steer Davies Gleave, UBS Securities, Dannenbaum Engineering, ACI Consulting, Sociedad Ibercia de Construcciones Electricas, Dragados, and William Brothers Construction.

These proposals include statements detailing the groups experience in developing and financing transportation projects similar to TTC-69. Also included are conceptual proposals describing how the team would finance, design, construct, operate and maintain TTC-69.

The next step is for TxDOT to complete an initial review of the proposals, which could be completed next month. Teams with experience, qualifications and innovative engineering will be placed on a short list of potential strategic partners for TTC-69.

Once this is completed, approval by the Texas Transportation Commission is needed to continue with the competitive selection process. If approved, TxDOT will request detailed proposals from the short list of potential strategic partners. A selection of a strategic partner could be made by the commission by late 2007.

With no funding set aside for construction, a public-private partnership would allow development of the entire 600-mile multi-billion dollar project from Northeast Texas to Mexico to be accelerated. Even with private sector resources to fund the project, state transportation officials stress TTC-69 will remain a state-owned project.

On a parallel yet independent track, work continues on the initial environmental study that would narrow the current study area to approximately four miles wide. Subsequent studies will be needed to determine a final route for the project.

Interstate 69 is being developed under the Trans-Texas Corridor master plan. If environmentally approved, the project would be developed as needed and as private sector resources are available.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Williamson dies

By Ben Wear - Austin American Statesman - Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ric Williamson, the Texas Transportation Commission chairman and a take-no-prisoners advocate for his friend Rick Perry’s toll road policy, has died.

Williamson, 55, who had been on the commission since 2001 and its chairman since January 2004, died of a heart attack, said state Sen. Mike Krusee, chairman of the House Transportation Committee. It was not clear today if Williamson died late Saturday night or early Sunday.

Williamson, a Weatherford resident, had served in the Texas House for 14 years, leaving in 1999. Williamson dominated discussion of Texas transportation policy for most of this decade, holding forth at commission meetings in a curiously ornate but still straight-forward style that sometimes infuriated opponents of the toll road policy. Williamson, in particular, was four-square behind granting private companies long-term leases to finance, build and operate publicly owned toll roads, an approach that he said would raise billions for other roads but that others feared gave away too much control of public assets.

Texas Monthly in a June article had called him “the most hated person in Texas, public enemy number one to a million or more people.” In that same article, Williamson told writer Paul Burka, “I’ve had two heart attacks, and I’m trying to avoid the third one, which the doctors tell me will be fatal.”People could question Williamson’s policy stands and his approach - and plenty of Texas legislators did just that over the past year - but no one could question the horsepower of the intellect behind those policies.

“Ric was the smartest and most far-sighted person I’d ever seen in public life,” said Krusee. “I learned so much whenever I was around Ric, and I don’t just mean transportation policy.”

Transportation Department executive director Amadeo Saenz issued this statement this afternoon:

“Ric Williamson was a visionary. As a member and chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, he brought passion and focus to meeting many of the challenges facing Texas today and for generations to come. The entire TxDOT family will miss his dedication and his leadership. At this time, our thoughts are with his wife, children and grandchildren.”

Read more

Fair Use

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Material from diverse and sometimes temporary sources is being made available in a permanent unified manner, as part of an effort to advance understanding of the social justice issues associated with eminent domain and the privatization of public infrastructure. It is believed that this is a 'fair use' of the information as allowed under section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the site is maintained without profit for those who access it for research and educational purposes. For more information, see: To use material reproduced on this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', permission is required from the copyright owner indicated with a name and an Internet link at the end of each item. [NOTE: The text of this notice was lifted from]

See ARCHIVE on side bar

Content is being archived weekly. Many pertinent articles regarding Transportation in the DFW Region are in the archives.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. - Thomas Jefferson

The Opnions On this Site are Diverse

DFW Regional Concerned Citizens attempts to examine issues from all directions. When a story says "By Faith Chatham" it contains my viewpoint. When it is by others, but posted by Faith Chatham, it is from someone else's viewpoint. When I discover contents which is on topic for this site, I frequently link to other sites. Usually those sites contain content which differs from my viewpoint (and frequently that of other members of DFW-RCC).