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Mobility Authority Announces Negotiations with Apparent Best-Value Proposer Design-Build Contractor for U.S. 183 North Construction

AUSTIN, TX — The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority's (Mobility Authority) 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).

The 183 North Mobility Project encompasses a nine-mile 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 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, health care, and religious institutions," Jenkins said. "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. As Austin continues to grow, congestion will get worse, and travel times will increase if we do nothing,” said Interim Executive Director for the Mobility Authority, Bill Chapman.

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.

"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.

Great Hills Constructors is a joint venture between two construction firms that have joined to deliver the 183 North Mobility Project for the Mobility Authority. The joint venture is comprised of Archer Western Construction, LLC, and Sundt Construction. Archer Western has been building and constructing numerous projects throughout Texas for over 25 years. Archer Western is part of a fourth generation family-owned company. Sundt Construction was established in 1890 and has been building in Texas since 1973. Sundt has three regional offices in Texas with more than 530 employees.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created in 2002 to improve the regional transportation system in Travis and Williamson Counties. The Mobility Authority implements innovative and sustainable transportation options to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in Central Texas.

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