On June 16, the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) celebrated the groundbreaking of Lake Ralph Hall, North Texas’ newest lake and one of the first built in Texas in decades. Named after the late longtime U.S. Congressman Ralph M. Hall, the reservoir will be located on the North Sulphur River in southeast Fannin County, just north of the city of Ladonia.

UTRWD serves approximately 325,000 residents. The area’s population is expected to increase nearly fivefold over the next 50 years.

The official start of construction marks a milestone to ensure crucial water supplies for the growing region. The groundbreaking was hosted at the site of the future Leon Hurse Dam, named for the former mayor of Ladonia and a longtime champion of the project. The earthen dam, to be constructed over the next four years, will measure approximately 2.3 miles long and about 110 ft tall as it forms a reservoir capable of storing 180,000 acre-ft of water.

The estimated $490-million project—which was financed by the Texas Water Development Board—includes construction of a 2.5-mile-long State Highway 34 bridge that will span 1.1 miles over the lake and will accommodate pedestrians and cars; a raw water pump station; a 32-mile-long raw water pipeline; a balancing reservoir; an operation/maintenance facility; and improvements and upgrades to adjacent state and county roads. 

The reservoir is scheduled to begin delivering water by 2026.


Texas Education Bond Programs

Stantec was selected to provide design and engineering services for two K-12 district bond programs in San Antonio and Bastrop, Texas. These projects include facility renovations and expansions, technology upgrades and infrastructure improvements to offer more modern educational and recreational spaces for the students of these communities. 

For the San Antonio Independent School District (ISD), Stantec is providing design services for the district’s Brackenridge High School, the Burnet Campus and Steele Montessori. For Bastrop ISD, projects include two new elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools.


Port of Houston Construction Contracts

McCarthy Building Cos. has won three port construction projects along the Texas Gulf Coast. Two of the projects, which total $99 million, are for Port Houston Authority (PHA) - Bayport Wharf 6, a continued expansion of the Bayport Terminal, and Container Yard 3N at Barbours Cut Terminal. The other is a barge dock project for a private petrochemical company along the Houston Ship Channel.

The PHA Wharf 6 project at the Bayport Container Terminal in Seabrook includes construction of a 1,000-ft-long wharf that will allow for the latest generation of container cranes to unload shipping containers from neo-Panamax vessels. The project is partially funded by U.S Dept. of Transportation Maritime Administration in the amount of $21.8 million. The project scope includes the installation of drilled shaft foundations, both precast and cast-in-place concrete, crane rail installation, a ship fender and mooring system, substantial dirt work and dredging activities. Construction began in May and will last 26 months. The project is directly attached to the Wharves 4 and 5 Rehabilitation project McCarthy is currently completing.

The Barbours Cut Terminal Container Yard 3N project will add approximately 10 acres of shipping container storage at the terminal complex. This project, a rehabilitation of the existing site, will include utility upgrades, installation of high-mast light poles and a realigning of the main interterminal access road. Work began mid-May and will be complete around February 2022. Additionally, McCarthy was awarded a project by an international petrochemical bulk storage terminal services company, located within the Port of Houston. The construction project provides for the addition to an existing bulkhead wall and for the construction of a new unloading barge dock. The project began in April and is estimated to take 11 months. 

New Orleans River District

The River District will be a new residential and mixed-use neighborhood in the heart of New Orleans.
Rendering courtesy of Gensler

Design Team Selected For NOLA Convention Center Development

Gensler, in partnership with New Orleans-based architecture firm Manning, was selected as the design team to create a master plan for a residential and mixed-use neighborhood on the Mississippi River called The River District, which will be developed on land owned by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Focused on developing a neighborhood for all, plans for The River District include mixed-use residential and commercial spaces linking the Warehouse and Lower Garden Districts with the Riverfront and Convention Center. The River District team was selected by the Convention Center governing board through a public bid process.

The neighborhood will include apartments, including affordable and workforce housing, retail space, restaurants and other amenities. The River District will also include entertainment components, including a music venue, movie theater and a potential site for the new Civil Rights Museum. Predevelopment work is expected to take up to 18 months.


Ferrovial Awarded $1.5-Billion I-35 Northeast Expansion

Ferrovial, via its subsidiaries Ferrovial Construction and Webber, were selected in May by the Texas Dept. of Transportation for the Interstate 35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) design-build project. The estimated value of the project is more than $1.5 billion, with construction starting in 2022 and spanning about six years. 

The project consists of the design, construction and maintenance of approximately 9.5 miles of non-tolled improvements along I-35, including the construction of approximately 18 miles of additional elevated main lanes. Scope of work consists of construction of elevated managed lanes between the existing main lanes and frontage roads and eight bridges as well as the reconstruction and widening of the Loop 1604 general purpose lanes and bridges. It includes more than 800 spans of bridge construction, 4,500 concrete beams, 31 million lb of steel girders and 6 million sq ft of bridge decks.


183 North Mobility Project

Joint venture partners Archer Western Construction and Sundt Construction Inc., operating together as Great Hills Constructors, were recently awarded the 183 North Mobility project in Austin. Archer Western and Sundt are responsible for the design and construction of the nine-mile highway project under the direction of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. 

The $477-million project adds two express lanes in both directions along a stretch of US Highway 183 from MoPac Expressway to State Highway 45 North in Travis and Williamson counties. It includes adding a fourth general-purpose lane to bring the total number to four lanes in both directions and adds an express lane direct connector to and from southbound MoPac.

The project scope also includes 21 bridge widenings, extensive retaining wall construction, operational improvements for the transition to MoPac, new shared-use path connections as well as sidewalks and cross-street connections for bicycles and pedestrians.