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DART awards contracts, seeks RRIF loan for Cotton Belt light rail

Written by Staff and newswire report
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DART Rail ribbon cutting

Archer Western Herzog 4.0, a joint venture between Archer Western and Herzog Contracting Corp., won an $815 million design-build contract to construct the new Cotton Belt light rail commute line in Dallas.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) board also awarded a $49 million contract to a joint venture of WSP Global and Arredondo, Zepeda & Brunz LLC to  perform design review and construction management services, which include coordination; oversight of AWH; and cost, quality and schedule control, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Interestingly, the DART board decided to award the contracts while still seeking a federal loan to cover the costs of building a 26-mile route connecting Plano, Richardson, Addison, North Dallas and DFW International Airport. That’s because DART expects to close on a $908 million loan agreement with the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program later this week. That  RRIF loan would give the transit system a much lower interest rate than DART would otherwise be able to secure, according to The Bond Buyer newspaper. “The loan really made the project possible,” DART board vice chairman Paul Wageman, who represents the city of Plano, told the newspaper. “The interest rate looks very favorable to us.”

Jacobs Engineering Group will do the design work for the AWH partnership.

The DART contract awards come roughly three months after the DART board approved construction of the east-west commuter line, although with fewer stations than originally planned.

The existing DART light-rail system The system runs 93 miles along four lines. DART operates 163 light-rail trains manufactured by Osaka-based Kinki Sharyo.

AWH beat some of the bigger names in the business for the DART contract. A joint venture of Salini Impregilo and its U.S. subsidiary The Lane Construction Corp., as well as a team that included Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., Austin Bridge & Road LP and Parsons Transportation Group, fell short in the competition. The two runners-up will get about $4 million each as reimbursement for their efforts and to secure the rights to designs, according to Construction Dive.



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