- Briefing Room
El Paso, Texas
|Project Sponsor / Borrower||
Texas Department of Transportation
Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority
The Americas Interchange is a four-level, fully directional interchange between I-10 and Loop 375 15 miles east of downtown El Paso, Texas. The project was constructed in three phases. A precursor project included the extension of the Loop 375 main lanes from North Loop Road across I-10 to Bob Hope Drive This project opened in 2005 and included the completion of the existing bridge over I-10 along with the interchange's aesthetic improvements that serve as a gateway to El Paso.
Phase I, completed in 2013, consisted of the construction of 3 direct connectors between Loop 375 and I-10:
Funding for Phase I included a form of tax increment financing called a Transportation Reinvestment Zone (TRZ). El Paso was the first major city in Texas to implement TRZs, first created by the State Legislature in 2007. TRZs function similarly to Tax Increment Financing (TIF) instruments, but can support a broader range of transportation projects.
The City's first TRZ was rescinded due to the quality of the zone's estimated revenue data and contiguity issues. Two TRZs that followed and approved in 2010 included new boundaries and recalibrated revenue estimates. These TRZs now serve as key funding mechanisms for implementation of El Paso's 2008 Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), which included the Americas Interchange Phase I's direct connectors. One hundred percent of the annual property tax increment in the TRZ is required to be set aside for identified projects.
The TRZs will ultimately generate an anticipated $70 million to implement CMP projects. Since 2008, TRZ revenue has financed portions of several projects including $30 million for the interchange. This revenue is pledged to the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority, who in turn will repay a Texas Department of Transportation's State Infrastructure Bank loan. The City of El Paso backs this repayment source, as required by state regulation.
Phase II constructed 3 additional direct connectors:
Phase III constructed the remaining 2 direct connectors:
|Project Delivery / Contract Method||
Phase I - Design-build
Phase II - Design-bid-build
Phase III - Design-bid-build
Phase I Design-Builder - Americas Gateway Builders (joint venture of Zachry Construction and CH2M Hill)
|Project Advisors / Consultants||
Phase II Construction - J.D. Abrams
Phase III Construction - Haydon Building Corp
TRZ Planning and Development - Texas Transportation Institute, TXP, Inc.
State Infrastructure Bank
|Duration / Status||
Precursor project opened 2005
Phase I opened January 2013
Phase II opened April 2015
Phase III opened December 2016
|Financial Status/Financial Performance||
Early on the TRZs initially had to pull from the City of El Paso's General Fund to meet their obligations. However, by 2013, these zones began generating more than double the public backing. Revenue collection meets or exceeds initial forecasts from the Texas Transportation Institute and TXP estimates. TRZ revenue generation is on schedule to repay the SIB loan and other project obligations.
El Paso's TRZs are the first use of this financing mechanism in Texas. This tool is similar to Texas Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, but unlike those, TRZs do not require the local entity to create a board, reducing administrative burden. Additionally, TRZ revenue can support a broader range of transportation projects.
|Related Links / Articles|
Robert Bielek, DPA, P.E.
TxDOT Project Finance, Debt and Strategic Contracts Division