Under recent developments in Texas law, local toll project entities have the first option to develop, finance, construct, and operate certain toll projects while the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has the second option on such rights. As a regional tollway authority, the North Texas Transportation Authority (the NTTA) had certain first option rights with respect to the IH 35E Managed Lanes Project (the IH 35E Project). In July, the NTTA was requested to provide TxDOT with a waiver of its first option rights to the IH 35E Project.
In September, the NTTA board voted unanimously to waive its first option to develop, finance, construct, and operate the IH 35E Project. The NTTA's waiver opens the door for private entities to bid on the IH 35E Project. In a joint resolution, the NTTA and the Regional Transportation Council expressed support for TxDOT's use of the public-private partnership model to undertake the IH 35E Project.