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Current state transportation funding cannot keep pace with the escalating demand for new and improved roadways in the rapidly growing North Texas region. The Texas Transportation Institute ranks the Dallas/Fort Worth area as the fourth most congested among large urban areas in the U.S., causing local drivers to burn 106 billion gallons of extra fuel per year and waste countless hours delayed in traffic. Given the state's limited financial resources for infrastructure and the many projects that must compete for those resources, Texas currently is unable to provide fast-track development of much-needed roadway projects that would relieve congestion, improve safety and air quality, while accommodating further anticipated growth.
The LBJ Infrastructure Group provides new sources of funding for the LBJ Express project, generating jobs and investment in the State of Texas. The public-private funding arrangement for the project combines public funds, federally backed loans, private activity bonds, bank debt and private sector equity to make this long discussed project a reality.
The vision for the LBJ Express project is to deliver a new viable transportation network as quickly as possible to help relieve traffic congestion and improve safety and air quality.
The LBJ Infrastructure Group provided roughly four-fifths of the total financing for the project, or approximately $2.21 billion of the total $2.7 billion needed for the project. The LBJ Express is anticipated to cost $800 million to operate and maintain during the course of its 52-year lease to LBJ Infrastructure Group under the Comprehensive Development Agreement with the State. Such operation and maintenance costs will be the sole responsibility of the LBJ Infrastructure Group. The innovative public-private partnership enables taxpayers to leverage $490 million in public funds to receive more than four times the value in infrastructure enhancements and traffic relief.
To put it in perspective, the total budget for FY 2010-2011 for new construction and maintenance for all roadways in the TxDOT Dallas Division (covering a five-county area in North Texas) was $171 million.
By comparison, the total cost of the LBJ Express project, including maintenance and operations, is $2.7 billion with construction alone estimated at $2.1 billion.
Without private developers, the five-year LBJ Express project would have exceeded the total amount budgeted for all of TxDOT's North Texas transportation needs and likely would have been delayed for years or never built at all.