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Photo by Manuel Garza

Mobility Authority moves forward with 183 North

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by Harrison Young

Last week, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority unanimously endorsed a contract for construction of the 183 North Mobility Project, which proposes extra lanes to Highway 183 in addition to pedestrian lanes on the service road.

The plan includes one additional lane in each direction plus two tolled lanes in each direction. The project adds onto the 9-mile stretch of 183 from Highway 45 to Mopac Expressway.

Construction will begin later this year with completion expected in 2026, and will cost an estimated $612 million, pending final confirmation.

The board did not officially approve the contract, but rather authorized CTRMA staff to finalize it before construction can begin. Formal approval also depends on consent from the Federal Highway Administration and Texas Department of Transportation.

The contract, termed a “design-build agreement,” was awarded to Great Hills Constructors, which received a perfect technical score, according to project staff, and was the lowest bidder with $477 million. Capital Express Partners and Colorado River Constructors were also on the shortlist.

The vote comes after an initial delay earlier this year because board members felt the project warranted a more detailed presentation before a contract was awarded.

“I just really wasn’t comfortable voting for it, but after the presentation and understanding the process more fully … I’m very comfortable today,” Board Member David Armbrust said.

Mike Sexton, CTRMA acting director of engineering, laid out in full the decision processes behind choosing the contractor, including a detailed points system as well as proposal and qualification evaluations.

“Six years from now this could have been seen as one of, if not the most important project that the (CTRMA) has built,” Board Member Mark Ayotte said. “This one’s the critical one in my mind,” he added.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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