Press Releases

Take a look at some of the press releases we've written about the overall North Tarrant Express project and the new TEXpress Lanes.

North Tarrant Express Marks One-Year Anniversary

October 7, 2015

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (October 7, 2015) – This past Sunday, October 4, marked the one-year anniversary of the opening of the North Tarrant Express (NTE), the $2.1 billion highway corridor along Interstate 820 and Airport Freeway (SH 121/183) in northeast Tarrant County.

The reconstruction project was ambitious: reinventing a nearly 50-year-old highway – including adding TEXpress managed toll lanes, rebuilding all main lanes, and rebuilding and expanding frontage roads – that traverses six municipalities, carries up to 200,000 vehicles daily and impacts more than a million residents.

The fully rebuilt NTE corridor opened in October 2014, approximately nine months ahead of schedule.
The NTE was the first Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) project to fully open in North Texas. A combination of private equity, Private Activity Bonds (PABs), federal loans and limited investment on the part of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) funded the project, which includes operations and maintenance on the corridor for the next 50 years.

What are some of the lessons learned in the last year?

  1. Drivers like congestion-free travel. One year in, the corridor is moving 23 percent more traffic than when construction began in 2010. As of August 31, 2.1 million unique vehicles have traveled the TEXpress Lanes.
  2. Managed toll lanes benefit the non-users as much as the users. The non-tolled main lanes are moving five percent more traffic than pre-construction, with an 80 percent reduction in congestion along the main lanes due to improved design of the roadway and traffic that has shifted to the TEXpress Lanes. The benefit of the time saved is estimated at $17.7 million in terms of lost time and wasted fuel.
  3. Collaboration is the key to success. This project was a model of collaboration among a myriad of partners: TxDOT, equity partners, each of the six corridor cities, hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents along the corridor, the HEB and Northeast Tarrant Chambers of Commerce, the school districts, our community partners (the National Math + Science Initiative, University of Texas at Arlington, Six Stones and many others), emergency responders and public safety officials, and the thousands of workers who actually designed and built the corridor. Working effectively and efficiently toward a common goal allowed us to complete the roadway in record time (opening nine months early) and under budget.
  4. Public-private partnerships (P3s) make sense for Texas. In the absence of robust funding for new roadway projects – and adequate funding to even maintain our existing infrastructure – P3s are viable and effective tools to advance critical projects years, if not decades, ahead of schedule. The gas tax, which has not been raised since 1991, does not come close to covering the transportation infrastructure needs of the state and, in particular, the North Texas region. We are outpacing the country exponentially in growth, but until now, we have not had the means to keep up with this growth.
  5. Better mobility drives economic development. If you drive the corridor, you'll see ample signs of new construction, businesses that have relocated to new, expanded space, and businesses that are new to our communities. Sales tax revenues are up, and economic development interest and activity are substantially on the rise as well.

Increasingly, other states and countries are looking to the North Tarrant Express, and the newly opened LBJ Express, as models for innovation – in design and construction, in financing, in marketing, and in community development. Outsiders are taking notice: The project recently was named the 2015 Best Project of the Year by ENR Texas & Louisiana and a top 10 finalist for America's Transportation Awards through the American Association of Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO); the project and collective team have also received numerous awards related to construction, design, community involvement, and special events (NTE grand opening celebration).

In recognition of the one-year anniversary, NTE is offering a "One Week Free on NTE" promotion, allowing drivers to travel the managed lanes for free, Monday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 25. "This is a great opportunity for drivers to experience the benefits of the NTE TEXpress Lanes – free of charge," says Robert Hinkle, Director of Corporate Affairs for NTE Mobility Partners, the developer of the North Tarrant Express. "It's our way of thanking our existing customers for a great first full year of operation as well as enticing new users to try out the managed lanes."

Drivers must have a valid TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG and be registered with the Drive On TEXpress mobile or web app before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18 to qualify for the free week; registration for the promotional discount began Monday, Sept. 28. This promotion only applies to the NTE TEXpress Lanes and is available for all registered vehicles on each Drive On TEXpress account, as well as for HOV users and solo drivers. For more information, visit www.ntetexpress.com.

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