When transportation leaders from across North Texas gathered for the 14th Annual Tarrant Transportation Summit in Hurst, Texas, on Feb. 9, TEXpress Lanes took part in key conversations on how public-private partnerships (P3s) transformed the region’s transportation landscape.

Organized by the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition, this year’s theme – “Surge: Readiness for Exponential Population Growth” – explored growth trends and how regional collaboration can stay one step ahead of the infrastructure needed to support it. The event drew industry heavy hitters Ross Perot Jr., chairman of Perot Companies and Hillwood, and Federal Reserve Bank President Lorie Logan as keynote speakers. They addressed a crowd of more than 600 attendees, including elected officials, business leaders, transportation engineers and members of the public.


Robert Hinkle, director of Corporate Affairs for LBJ Express, North Tarrant Express and NTE35W, spoke on a panel including former Mayor of Fort Worth Betsy Price, Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes and North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino. Moderated by Michael Morris, director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the conversation focused on paving the way for ongoing economic prosperity through strategic policy decisions and infrastructure investments.


Hinkle credited all the stakeholders involved in the public-private partnership that actualized the North Tarrant Express corridor. “Everyone in this room exemplifies perseverance,” he said. “We’ve had tough decisions. Russell (Laughlin of Hillwood Companies) worked on the NTE project for 35 years. And it took us three years to get Segment 3C (of NTE) across the finish line. It took a while, but we persevered. The collaboration and partnership of the public sector, the private sector, government, the citizens, the stakeholders. That’s how we are going to make it happen.”

Ross and Fickes, long-time supporters of P3s and specifically the NTE and NTE3 projects, pointed out the benefits of managed lanes. “Without the managed lanes, without 3C – the latest connection — we really would have been two distinct, separate areas,” Price said, referring to Fort Worth and the Alliance district. “Without the managed lanes, you’d be sitting in gridlock.”


The corridor sees over 200,000 drivers a day, resulting in beginning the NTE Capacity Improvements Project in 2023, eight years ahead of schedule. North Tarrant Infrastructure, a joint venture between Ferrovial Construction and Webber, and sister company to TEXpress Lanes, will serve as the lead design-build contractor on the project to add one managed and one general purpose lane in each direction.  Hinkle pointed out toll revenues collected on the NTE TEXpress Lanes will fully fund the project with no cost to taxpayers.


About Tarrant Transportation Summit & Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition:

TTS was created to update and educate the public on the projects that would profoundly affect commuters, businesses and residents as they move about their daily lives. It gives a comprehensive overview of the transportation projects in the Tarrant County area and beyond. TRTC cultivates opportunities for the public and private sectors to work together to create innovative transportation solutions.