Direct connectors would also be built to the MoPac express lanes and eventually to RM 620 when needed. The total cost is estimated at $650 million, of which $150 million would fund the
RM 620 direct connectors.
Under the design-build process, construction would take about three years and could be finished in May 2022.
Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority staffers are recommending a design-build process, which involves overlapping the design and construction phases to expedite a project, said Justin Word, the agency’s director of engineering. This process is the same one the agency is using on the MoPac and 183 South toll projects.
Another method of building roads is the design-bid-build process that requires completing the design first before beginning construction.
Advantages to the design-build process include lower upfront costs, entering the bond market sooner for financing and beginning construction sooner, Word said.
“The takeaway is we’re looking at a roughly nine-month advantage for design-build,” he said.
In May, the agency began the developer procurement process, which takes about a year to complete, Word said. This process also will involve assessing which developer would best manage the risk of a design-build project.
Staffers also revealed a financing plan for the project, except for the direct connectors to RM 620. Most of the funds would come from toll revenue bonds. The Texas Department of Transportation is also funding the fourth nontolled lane for $120 million.