The Texas Department of Transportation has completed negotiations on a new highway construction agreement that will add two privately managed lanes to I-35W in the Fort Worth area.

Each year, Texans waste more than 2 million hours sitting in traffic on I-35W near downtown in Fort Worth. The TxDOT hopes to cut that time by more than a third. The draft agreement with NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC will add two managed lanes each way on I-35W, or the North Tarrant Express, and rebuild the existing highway, which today tops TxDOT's 100 Most Congested Roadways.

Funding for the project highlights the region's strong transportation partnerships. The North Central Texas Council of Governments has committed approximately $89.5 million for the project, and identified another $40.5 million for project contingencies. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation invited the developer to apply for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan of up to $537 million to help fund the project.

The project also is expected to receive $273 million from Private Activity Bonds issued by the developer and $446 million in developer equity. The scheduled improvements from north of I-30 to north of I-820 (Segment 3A) will provide $1.4 billion of needed infrastructure to the Fort Worth area. The agreement also provides operations and maintenance until 2061.

As part of this project, TxDOT will also make improvements to Segment 3B, which runs from north of I-820 to US 81/287. Segment 3B will be rebuilt and widened to include two managed lanes each way at a total project cost to TxDOT of $234 million. Once constructed, Segment 3B will be turned over to NTEMP3 for operations and maintenance under the agreement.

Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2013 with substantial completion in mid-2018.

You can find out more about this project at , keyword: North Tarrant Express.