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June 2, 2012

 

State issues RFQ for U.S. 77 upgrades in south Texas

AUSTIN Work continues toward the goal of upgrading U.S. 77 in south Texas to interstate highway standards as the Texas Transportation Commission gave TxDOT approval, at its May meeting, to issue an Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to potential bidders for development of the project through a Design/Build Agreement.

The Design/Build project will upgrade U.S. 77 between Kingsville and Driscoll to interstate highway standards with the intent to improve safety and mobility as well as foster economic development throughout South Texas.  The total project is approximately 12 miles in length and is part of the overall 122-mile U.S. 77 Upgrade from Corpus Christi to Harlingen.

"This is a major step in upgrading this corridor to interstate highway standards," said Russell Zapalac, TxDOT Chief Planning & Project Officer. "Our goal is to move this project along to increase safety and support economic development."

Safety and mobility upgrades planned include: new overpasses, new interchanges, new one-way traffic frontage roads, upgrades to existing ramps, and conversion of two-way frontage roads to one-way traffic.

An environmental assessment process began in 2008. After the review of public comments on the assessment is complete later this year the Federal Highway Administration could issue a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).  This would allow individual upgrade projects on the route to move forward once designed and funded.

In anticipation, TxDOT has been at work in recent months creating a project development plan to complete the US 77 upgrade program that has already been underway for two decades. The new plan will identify likely construction phasing, project costs, and reasonably anticipated funding for the next 25 years.

A Request for Proposals will be issued after completion of the RFQ process later this year.

The RFQ is published in the Texas Register at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/index.shtml.

Hard copies of the RFQ are available at TxDOT, 7600 Chevy Chase Dr., Suite 400, Austin, Texas 78752-1599 or at: http://www.txdot.gov/business/partnerships/rfq.htm.