The Texas DOT (TxDOT) has selected the joint venture of Fluor Corp. and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure to design and reconstruct a section of Interstate 635 in Dallas, according to a Fluor press release.
As part of the I-635 LBJ East Project, the JV will widen and rebuild approximately 11 miles of interstate. Work at this section of I-635 is to the north and east of Dallas and will include construction of general purpose lanes and reconstruction of the existing managed lanes in each direction; building of continuous frontage roads, which will include intersection improvements at cross streets; design and construction of a bridge; and improvements to the I-30 interchange and another section of I-30.
The contract with the TxDOT also includes an option for Fluor to provide maintenance for the new work. The project, which will provide approximately 500 construction jobs at peak activity, should be substantially complete sometime in the second half of 2024.
Fluor and Balfour bid the project as Pegasus Link Constructors and listed AECOM Technical Services and Raba Kistner Infrastructure as major participants. Pegasus beat out two other teams to win the project. The other competitors were Trinity East Construction (Ferrovial Agroman US Corp./Webber LLC) and LBJ Constructors (Kiewit Infrastructure South Co./Zachry Construction Corp.)
The industry sees many of the same big companies bidding on these infrastructure projects, largely because they are financially stable enough to provide payment and performance bonds, as well as invest in important predesign and planning as part of the bid process. And they have developed deep benches of technical and project management expertise.
However, even major infrastructure firms can run into trouble. Widely thought to be connected to its Italian parent company's bankruptcy filing, Astaldi Construction Corp. voluntarily defaulted on four Florida infrastructure projects in April. Astaldi's surety companies have been working with the Florida DOT to secure replacement contractors, and the agency has issued contracts to three new firms for a $7.6 million bridge in Citrus County; the $50 million widening of US 301 near Tampa; and Section 7A of the $1.6 billion Wekiva Parkway project near Orlando.
But financially sound contractors can also experience project issues that lead to delays and cost overruns. Skanska USA is part of the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate public-private partnership in Orlando, Florida, and is also one of the joint venture partners of prime contractor SGL Constructors. The 21-mile toll lane project has seen four fatalities since the start of construction in 2016, and the P3 filed a $100 million claim with the state of Florida asserting cost overruns and approximately 245 in delay days related to flooding and the failure of drilled shafts.