Press Release: 01.28.2015

State Highway 71 Express Lanes Project Commences in Austin, Texas

McCarthy broke ground Tuesday, Jan. 27, on the design-build State Highway (SH) 71 Express Lanes project alongside The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA). The groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the start of construction with officials from each organization, along with state and city representatives.

“At McCarthy, we believe a strong infrastructure is the very foundation of our communities, and we are proud to partner with TxDOT, the CTRMA, the City of Austin, and the Austin Bergstrom International Airport to be a part of this project that will improve mobility for the Austin metroplex and surrounding region,” said McCarthy Vice President of Civil Operations Kurt Knebel at the groundbreaking. “Over the years, McCarthy has completed numerous complex transportation projects in Texas, and our company is known for delivering projects focusing on safety, quality, schedule and cost. McCarthy is also one of the nation’s leading design-build construction firms. Our team is excited about the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities in the transportation market, and we look forward to successfully delivering the SH-71 Express Project for TXDOT, CTRMA, and the citizens of Austin.”

The goal of the SH 71 Express Project is to enhance safety and reduce travel time and congestion in the corridor. When complete, the project will bring much needed improvements to the 3.9-mile corridor between Presidential Boulevard and Farm-to-Market Road 973. Improvements include two new toll lanes (one in each direction), new bridges over FM 973 and SH 130, and ramps between the toll lanes and the main lanes of SH 71 and SH 130. In addition, Presidential Boulevard and FM 973 will be widened and improvements to bicycle and pedestrian access will be made.

“SH 71 is a vital roadway in Austin because of its proximity to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and because it connects central Texas communities,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “This project will enhance safety and bring needed traffic improvement to the area, as well as increase economic development and overall safety on our regional road system.”

TxDOT Chief Planning and Project Officer, Russell Zapalac, welcomed guests to the event and discussed the importance of the project. Other speakers at the event included State Representative Eddie Rodriguez, District 51; Retired LtGen Joe Weber, executive director of TxDOT; Jim Smith, director of aviation, Austin –Bergstrom International Airport; and Ray Wilkerson, chairman, Mobility Authority Board of Directors.

McCarthy has worked on a wide variety of heavy, civil and complex transportation projects totaling nearly $4 billion in construction costs. With an array of experience, McCarthy’s Texas Division has completed numerous similar reconstruction projects under heavy traffic conditions, including the recently completed Texas A&M Wellborn Road Grade Separations project in College Station, Texas.

The SH 71 Express Lanes project is scheduled for completion in the summer 2016.

About McCarthy
McCarthy is the nation’s ninth largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2014) and a leading community builder. At McCarthy, we’re just getting started. For more than 150 years, McCarthy has been building communities across America, both by constructing essential projects communities rely on, as well as by helping those who need assistance. An employee-owned company, McCarthy performs general contractor, construction management and design/build services for the following project types: bridges and highways, parking structures, healthcare, entertainment, laboratory, biotechnology, retail, educational, office buildings, water/wastewater, federal, port/marine, microelectronic, industrial facilities, tenant interiors and mixed-use project construction. In addition to Dallas, McCarthy has offices in Houston; Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego San Jose and Newport Beach, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; St. Louis; New Mexico; Kansas City, Kansas; Collinsville, Illinois; and, Atlanta. Follow McCarthy on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

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