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Project Profile: North Tarrant Express 35W (Segments 3A, 3B and 3C)

North Tarrant Express 35W (Segments 3A and 3B)

photo credit: NTE Mobility Partners

Location

Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)

NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3, LLC

Program Areas

Project FinanceTolling and PricingTIFIA

Mode

Highway / Managed Lanes

Description

The approximately $1.64 billion North Tarrant Express (NTE) 35W project is the second phase of the North Tarrant Express. The 10.1-mile project included the reconstruction, widening, and addition of tolled managed lanes (TEXpress Lanes) along I-35W in two segments:

  • Segment 3A - stretching 6.5 miles from I-30 in downtown Fort Worth north to I-820
  • Segment 3B - continuing 3.6 miles from I-820 north to U.S. 81/287

A third segment, Segment 3C, would extend 7.2-miles from U.S. 81/287 north to Eagle Parkway near Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Segment 3C may be added to the project through a change order.

Each segment consists of two tolled managed lanes in each direction. In addition, one to two general purpose lanes and new frontage roads could be added to Segment 3A by 2030. On Segments 3B and 3C, additional general purpose lanes, auxiliary lanes or frontage roads are also contemplated by 2030.

The NTE 35W has been delivered under a 52-year concession agreement (effective 2009) between TxDOT and NTE Mobility Partners. The private partner designed, built, and financed Segment 3A and will operate and maintain it along with Segment 3B, which was procured under a separate design-bid-build contract.

The NTE 35W complements Phase 1 of the NTE, NTE Segments 1 and 2W, which opened to traffic in October 2014 after a four-year construction period under a separate concession agreement with NTE Mobility Partners. Phase 1 included improvements to 6.4 miles of I-820 (Segment 1) and 6.9 miles of SH 121/SH 183 (Segment 2W).

Cost

Segment 3A - $1,409 million

Segment 3B - $256 million

Segment 3C - $662 million

Funding Sources

Segment 3A:

  • Private Activity Bond Proceeds - $274 million
  • TIFIA Loan - $531 million
  • North Central Texas Council of Governments - $127 million
  • Interest income - $46.5 million
  • Equity - $430 million

Segment 3B:

  • Federal and State Funds - $245 million
  • Private Activity Bond Proceeds - $2.4 million
  • Equity - $8.4 million
Project Delivery / Contract Method

Segment 3A - Design-build-finance-operate-maintain Toll Concession (52 years)

Segment 3B - Design-bid-build (O&M included as part of concession)

Private Partner

NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3, LLC

Ownership at financial close

  • Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. (50.10%)
  • Meridiam Infrastructure (13.94%)
  • Dallas Police and Fire Pension System (10%)
  • APG Group (25.96%)

Current ownership (as of June 2016)

  • Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. (53.67%)
  • Meridiam Infrastructure (17.5%)
  • APG Group (28.84%)

Other Private Partners

  • Ferrovial Agromán S.A.
  • North Tarrant Infrastructure LLC
Project Advisors / Consultants

To TxDOT

  • Financial Advisor - KPMG
  • Legal Advisor - Nossaman LLP
  • Bond Counsel - McCall, Parkhurst & Horton LLP
  • Technical Advisor - CH2M Hill

To the concessionaire

  • Legal Advisor - Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Legal Advisor - Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
  • Financial Advisor - Citigroup
  • Traffic Consultant - AECOM Enterprises
  • Lenders' Traffic Advisor - Hatch Mott MacDonald
  • Independent Engineer - SAM - Construction Services, Inc.

To USDOT TIFIA JPO

  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Latham & Watkins LLP
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Taylor-DeJongh
Lenders

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

Commercial close (CDA execution) occurred on March 1, 2013.

Construction on Segment 3A began in May 2014; substantial completion reached July 2018.

Construction on Segment 3B began in April 2013; substantial completion reached December 2016.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $531.0 million

The TIFIA loan will be repaid with project revenues, which include all income, tolls, revenues, rates, fees, charges, rentals, or other receipts derived by or related to the operation of the project.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

The TIFIA credit agreement was executed on September 18, 2013.

Financial close for the PABs occurred on September 19, 2013.

A cash-funded debt service reserve is available for the senior lien bonds and TIFIA.

Innovations
  • The project transforms the I-35W corridor into a "Smart Corridor," using active traffic management technology to dynamically control traffic based on real-time roadway conditions, provide information to the traveling public, improve transit travel times, and allow transportation and law enforcement officials to better detect and respond to incidents in a timely manner. The technology provides real-time information for congestion pricing in the managed lanes to maintain 50 mph-travel.
  • Third transportation infrastructure project in the US to reach financial close with direct investment by a pension fund. The pension fund sold its stake to the other concession partners in June 2016.
Related Links / Articles

TxDOT Project Website

NTE Mobility Partners Project Website

Contacts

Shawna Russell
Northwest Texas Communications Director
TxDOT
Tel: (817) 370-6737

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