The Texas Dept. of Transportation last year received an unsolicited proposal from J.D. Abrams LP, Austin, to finance, design and build Spur 601, otherwise known as the Inner Loop, connecting U.S. 54 to Loop 375. It will create a second main entrance for the U.S. Army’s Fort Bliss.

About 21,000 troops currently commute back and forth to the base due to a lack of housing there. The 1.12-million-acre military training installation straddling Texas and New Mexico is undergoing a $3.1-billion expansion that will triple its present troops by 2013. “We had the proj­ect in schematic design for some time but lacked the money to build it,” says David Head, director of construction for TxDOT’s El Paso District.

The $367.45-million spur entails a 7.4-mile-long concrete roadway carrying six and four lanes of traffic, with asphalt connections and a 6,000-ft-long, 116-ft-wide, 16.6-ft-high bridge atop an existing service road. A portion of roadway will be elevated, allowing motorists to enter and leave via a new gate without traffic lights.

The project is Texas’s first to use pass-through financing authorized in 2005 by the state legislature. Abrams issued proj­ect construction bonds that are retired through state payments based on traffic counts. Motorists pay no tolls. The spur was designed by URS Corp., San Francisco, under a one-year, $17.5-million subcontract and initially will service 42,600 vehicle trips. The roadway will carry 64,500 vehicles daily by 2036.

public-private partnership is helping fast-track construction of a critical El Paso, Texas, roadway needed to service fast-growing Fort Bliss. The project began in August 2007. Zachary Construction Corp., the San Antonio-based general contractor, is on track to finish the first segment in October, with build-out by April 1, 2010.