Great Hills Constructors has been selected as the Apparent Best-Value Proposer (ABVP) to design and construct the 183 North Mobility Project.
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority's board of directors approved Great Hills Constructors as the Apparent Best-Value Proposer (ABVP) to design and construct the 183 North Mobility Project. This allows the agency to move into final contract negotiations with an expected contract execution date by spring 2021.
The goals of the 183 North Mobility Project are to improve mobility, reduce congestion and provide more reliable travel times for transit and emergency responders along U.S. 183 between State Highway 45 North and Loop 1 (MoPac).
"Great Hills Constructors is extremely honored to be selected to construct this project and is looking forward to working with the Mobility Authority and all of the stakeholders on this project," said authorized representative of Great Hills Constructors and Vice President of Archer Western Construction, Gary Geppert.
The 183 North Mobility Project encompasses a 9-mi. stretch of U.S. 183 between State Highway 45 North and MoPac and includes construction of two express lanes in each direction and the addition of a general-purpose lane to bring the number of non-tolled lanes to four in each direction. Express lane direct connectors will be constructed with MoPac to the south. The project also includes operational improvements to southbound MoPac, new shared use path connections, new sidewalks and cross-street connections for bicycles/pedestrians.
Construction is set to begin later this year with completion targeted in 2026.
Addressing congestion on the 69th most congested roadway in the state of Texas, the 183 North Mobility Project will provide central Texans faster connections to the epicenter of Austin, from outlying areas that offer access to more affordable housing, according to the Mobility Authority's Chairman of the Board, Bobby Jenkins.
"Traffic congestion in our region, particularly along U.S. 183 between S.H. 45 North and MoPac, is deeply concerning, because the corridor is a lifeline to downtown Austin and home to businesses and other essentials such as schools, recreation, major employment centers, healthcare and religious institutions," said Jenkins. "These are vital parts of our daily lives that would benefit from improved mobility."
While the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders reduced traffic in 2020, in and around Austin traffic levels have already begun to see a resurgence. Throughout 2021, those levels will continue to trend upward as Austin returns to and, eventually, exceeds pre-pandemic traffic levels. The 183 North Mobility Project's efforts to reduce congestion also mean helping to ensure reliable travel times for transit and emergency responders.
"Traffic congestion creates delays for emergency response vehicles and their patients who depend on quick access to and from Seton Northwest Hospital, Concentra Urgent Care and many other health care facilities located along the corridor," said Bill Chapman, interim executive director of the Mobility Authority. "As Austin continues to grow, congestion will get worse, and travel times will increase if we do nothing,"
The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact and environmental clearance in 2016 from the Texas Department of Transportation's Environmental Affairs Division to move into the final design and construction phase. In January 2019, the Texas Transportation Commission approved $104.2 million in federal funding for the non-tolled portion of the roadway, clearing the way for procurement of a design-build contractor.
The Mobility Authority received three responsive bids from shortlisted proposers, which were evaluated based on several factors, including price. The project will not use state funds but rather will be financed by the Mobility Authority using available and flexible funding mechanisms such as the sale of toll revenue bonds.
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