TransCore wins toll system contract for Grand Parkway, Segment D in Ft Bend Co west of Houston

August 31, 2012
By Peter Samuel

2012-08-31: TransCore has been chosen to build the all-electronic toll (AET) system for Segment D of the Grand Parkway TX99 tollroad on the western fringe of the Houston TX area. TransCore was recently told by Fort Bend Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority (FBGPTRA) that its proposal was preferred over those of Telvent and FSTech and the company is engaged in discussions to finalize a contract.

No price has been announced, but we heard an estimate of about $15m. (TO BE CONFIRMED)

The project involves seven mainline AET toll points along about 12 miles of tollroad between the Westpark Tollway and US59. A northern six miles Westpark to I-10 is already built with grade separations to expressway standard using tax money and will not be tolled.

 The road itself has been built mostly as 2-lane or divided highway but also with at-grade intersections. In other places there are already frontage or feeder roads with 120ft or so of median for mainlanes.

New construction supported by tolling involves construction of 2x2 mainlanes over about 8 miles  where missing. The biggest cost is for nine grade separations - mostly mainline overpasses - at intersecting highways over about 12 miles south of the West[park Toillway

The northern end of this segment is at I-10 near Katy, some 26 miles due west out of Houston and its southern end is at US59 in the Richmond Greatwood area, about the same distance southwest form central Houston.

In 2011 design of the nine new tolled overpasses and eight miles of main lane work began to raise all of Segment D to expressway standard. Construction of the first two overpasses started in August 2011 and a year later they are near completion now. Construction of the remaining seven overpasses began this summer and their completion is due before the end of 2013.

Most of the toll system is due to be installed in the second half of 2013. Toll gantries will be located on or close by the overpasses. It covers 28 lanes (7 toll points of 4 lanes each.) The RFP called for readers to read the old Texas ATA protocols of the hardcased transponders and the SeGo 6B sticker tags issued around the state for nearly ten years now.

These are a TransCore product.

Imaging is to be front and rear - of both the license plates and sufficient of the vehicle - minus occupants - to establish a description.   Vehicle classification is the regular axle based system.

Image processing & violations another procurement

In a separate procurement now under way FBGPTRA is also procuring violations processing for handling camera images ('v-tolls) and other data on vehicles without a transponder.

But the toller is not setting up its own back office for handling regular transactions or accounts, or issuing tags. Regular electronic toll transactions will be handled by the large established back office in adjacent Harris County or by the TxDOT operated TeamTX hub.

The FBGPTRA contract will provide for 5 years maintenance as well as the design, installation and testing.

AECOM and RSH are engineering consultants for the construction on Segment D.

The Grand Parkway planned as segments A thru I (clockwise from the southeast) as a third belt route around the Houston metro area, eventually some 120 miles in length. TxDOT is building another segment.

TOLLROADSnews 2012-08-31


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