Construction is set to begin by early 2013 on segments F-1, F-2 and G of the Grand Parkway, after the Texas Transportation Commission selected Zachary-Odebrecht Parkway Builders as the developer of the three sections.
Zachary-Odebrecht will develop about 37 miles of the new, four-lane toll road, which will stretch from Hwy. 290 to Hwy. 59. The cost of the project’s development is about $1.04 billion, but including 15 years of operation and maintenance for the three segments, the total cost is more than $1.1 billion.
“This is a major advancement, increasing mobility for motorists in the Greater Houston metropolitan area,” said Jeff Moseley, TTC director. “The innovative financial approach used here will make this project a reality much sooner, and that’s great news for Houston motorists.”
Senate Bill 1420, adopted by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011, allowed the Texas Department of Transportation the ability to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the Grand Parkway, which was first discussed as a need to improve Houston mobility in the early 1960s.
According to TxDOT, public-private partnerships allow the department to contract with the private sector for the design, construction, and possibly operation and maintenance of a project. The agreement also allows the state to retain ownership of the project. TxDOT first announced the agency would consider the idea of a public-private partnership for the Grand Parkway in mid-2011 and decided to pursue a design-build strategy by February 2012. The design build strategy allows a contractor to handle the layout and construction of a highway project, as opposed to a traditional route in which TxDOT does not procure contracts until sketches are complete.
Zachary-Odebrecht beat out three other developers in the bidding process. Along with Zachary-Odebrecht, the four finalists short-listed by TxDOT were Fluor Balfour Beatty Williams Brothers, Kiewit-Granite Parkway Constructors and Spring Creek Constructors.
TxDOT used a 100-point scoring system based on price, project development plan and schedule to determine the winner. The next step in the process is for the project to receive environmental permitting, which is expected in January 2013. Construction on the three segments is expected to be done by 2015, according to TxDOT.
The Grand Parkway is a proposed 184-mile circumferential roadway that will serve as the third loop around Houston. Two segments of the Grand Parkway—Segment D in Katy and Segment I-2 in Baytown—are open, and Segment E running from Katy to Cypress will be done by late 2013.