Montgomery County Courthouse
501 N. Thompson
Courtroom No. 402
Conroe, TX 77301 (Map)
Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017
TxDOT has solicited proposals and recommended selection of a proposer for award of a design-build agreement (DBA) and the associated capital maintenance agreement (CMA) to design, construct and maintain portions of approximately 24 miles of new location roadway in Montgomery and Grimes Counties. The purpose of the hearing is to disclose financial information for the toll project. The first part of the meeting will be an open house format so citizens may come and go at their convenience, followed by a formal presentation and comment period.
This project consists of two Segments (1 and 2) in Montgomery and Grimes Counties.
Segment 1 is an approximately 14-mile toll road from FM 1774 in Pinehurst (Montgomery County) to FM 1774 north of Todd Mission (Grimes County). Segment 1 consists of a four-lane divided toll road from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to just south of FM 149, and a Super-2 (one lane in each direction with intermittent passing lanes) toll road from just south of FM 149 to FM 1774 north of Todd Mission.
Segment 2 is an approximately 10-mile, two-lane, (one lane in each direction) non-tolled road from FM 1774 north of Todd Mission to SH 105 near Navasota (Grimes County). The DBA also includes two options (Options 1 and 2) for the design and the construction of the ultimate four-lane divided toll road (two lanes in each direction) within Segment 1. Option 1 consists of a four-lane divided toll road from just south of FM 149 to FM 1488 in Magnolia. Option 2 consists of a four-lane divided toll road from FM 1488 to FM 1774 north of Todd Mission (Option 2 will only be exercised in conjunction with Option 1 Work). Any options will be exercised prior to contract execution.
The Segment 1 tolled lanes will be operated by, and the tolls collected by, TxDOT through their Toll Operations Division. On June 29, 2017, in Minute Order 114960, the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) determined that the proposal submitted by WBCCI, LLC (DB Contractor) provides the apparent best value to TxDOT and authorized TxDOT to commence and complete negotiations necessary to finalize the DBA and the CMA.
Under the DBA, Segment 1 construction work will begin in late 2017 or early 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in mid-2020. Segment 2 construction work will begin in late 2018 or early 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in mid-2022. TxDOT owns and will continue to own the roadway and the right of way.
TxDOT intends to fund the SH 249 Extension with federal and state funding sources including financing a portion of the development of Segment 1 with toll revenue obligations issued by TxDOT. Segment 2 of the project will not be tolled. The total amount of debt that has been or will be assumed by TxDOT to acquire right-of-way, design, construct, and finance Segment 1 is projected to be approximately $325 million. Under TxDOT’s plan of finance, the debt will be repaid through toll revenues generated from the operation of the toll lanes on SH 249 Segment 1. The debt will be repaid over a term of up to 40-years from the date of financial close (excluding any refinancing). The projected amount of the interest that will be paid by TxDOT on the debt is approximately $780 million over the term of the financing. TxDOT does not anticipate assuming any debt for the operation and maintenance of the SH 249 Extension.
TxDOT will collect tolls on Segment 1 to offset the acquisition, design, and construction debt cost. Tolling will continue along Segment 1 after the debt is repaid.
Designation of SH 249 Segment 1 as a toll road was adopted by TTC Minute Order 114959 dated June 29, 2017. The initial toll rates and annual escalation policy for Segment 1 are anticipated to be consistent with the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) policies and escalation rates on the adjacent SH 249 Toll Lanes in Harris County.
Based on the demand projections, it is estimated that the toll rates per mile for Segment 1 will be as follows:
|Project Status||Year||Estimated $/mile|
|Initial Toll Rates||2020||$0.271|
|End of 1st CMA Term||2025||$0.302|
|End of 2nd CMA Term||2030||$0.337|
|End of 3rd CMA Term||2035||$0.376|
Toll rates for Segment 1 will be static (not changing based on traffic conditions) and increase based on the adopted escalation policy anticipated to be consistent with the terms of the policy utilized by HCTRA. There are no terms in the DBA related to competing facilities and there are no penalties associated with their construction. TxDOT has the right to terminate the DBA at any time without cause. If TxDOT elects to exercise this right, TxDOT must pay the DB Contractor for the design and construction work already performed under the DBA, the costs of terminating subcontracts, and certain out of pocket costs incurred by the DB Contractor. There will also be no concession payments. For more information about the DBA, please visit the SH 249 Extension project page.
The public is encouraged to attend any of these meetings and provide comments. Written comments will be received until 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2017.
Special accommodations: If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this meeting, please call the Houston District Office at (713) 866-7037 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate these needs.
TxDOT Houston District
7600 Washington Avenue
Houston, TX 77007
Posted August 21, 2017