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Project Profile: Border West Expressway

Border West Expressway - El Paso, Texas

photo credit: Border West Expressway Website

Location

El Paso, Texas

Project Sponsor

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryTolling and Pricing

Mode

Toll Highway

Description

The Border West Expressway project is located west of downtown El Paso, south of I-10 and extends approximately 7.4 miles from Racetrack Drive near Doniphan Road and New Mexico 273 East to US 54 east of downtown El Paso.

The project consists of:

  • Construction of a four-lane toll road on elevated structure from Racetrack Drive to the end of the existing Loop 375 near Santa Fe Street (approximately 5.6 miles)
  • Reconstruction of existing Loop 375 lanes from Santa Fe Street to Park Street on elevated structure providing access to local traffic and remaining non-tolled (approximately 1.8 miles)
  • Addition of multi-ramp interchanges connecting Executive Center Boulevard and Spur 1966
  • Construction of a multi-ramp interchange connecting Loop 375 with Paisano Drive (US 85) and Delta Street, providing eastbound and westbound access to the city's center

The project will close the Loop 375 gap that currently exists along the border in the downtown El Paso area and create an alternate route to I-10, improving system reliability and regional mobility. Currently only I-10 provides continuous high-speed, east-west connectivity through El Paso. The existing Loop 375 and US 85 (Paisano Drive) have numerous signalized intersections and heavy pedestrian activity.

The project's design-build contract includes a comprehensive maintenance agreement with three 5-year terms, the first of which is mandatory. The project's developer must perform routine, preventative, and lifecycle maintenance of all assets, as well as incident management.

Cost

Total project cost - $639.5 million

  • Design-build contract - $448.3 million
  • Right-of-way acquisition - $102 million
  • Tolling/ITS equipment - $22 million
  • Other capital costs - $67.9 million

Maintenance costs (estimated)

  • Maintenance, Years 1-5 - $10.7 million
  • Maintenance, Years 6-15 - $51.2 million
Funding Sources

Texas Mobility Fund resources - $639.5 million (design-build costs, right-of-way; additional right-of-way from the City of El Paso)

Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-build with maintenance contract

Private Partner

Abrams-Kiewit, JV

  • J.D. Abrams, L.P.
  • Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.

Other Private Partners

  • Kellogg, Brown & Root Services, Inc.
  • Roy Jorgensen Associates, Inc.
Project Advisors / Consultants

Advisors to TxDOT

  • Nossaman
  • KPMG
  • Jacobs
Lenders

None

Duration / Status

Design-build agreement executed August 2014.

Construction began March 2015.

Service commencement expected October 2017.

Final acceptance expected February 2018.

Financial Status

The project was originally envisioned to be federally funded, but the state has advanced construction with funds from the Texas Mobility Fund (TMF) due to availability. The TMF is a state revolving fund capitalized with pledged revenues from various motor vehicle and driver fees and other miscellaneous sources. The Texas Transportation Commission is authorized to sell bonds secured by a pledge against these funds. TMF funds are being used for the project's full cost.

Innovations
  • Tolls are expected to vary by time of day to accommodate varying levels of traffic.
  • Much of the roadway will be built on structure to elevate it above the Rio Bravo's floodplain and accommodate existing railroad right-of-way.
  • The project utilizes a 15-year, two-term performance-based Comprehensive Maintenance Agreement (COMA), a feature TxDOT has recently applied to several design-build contracts to help achieve greater consideration of the facility's long-term maintenance in the developer's design.
Related Links / Articles

TxDOT Project Website
Development Partner Website
Design-build-maintain Development Agreement
Texas Transportation Commission Presentation - April 24, 2014
Texas Mobility Fund Financial Reports

Contacts

Robert Bielek, DPA, PE
El Paso District Engineer
Texas Department of Transportation
Tel: (915) 790-4203

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