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2014 Contractor of the Year: Texas Road Boom Bolsters Ferrovial

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With several megaprojects located in the North Texas area, two of which together total nearly $5 billion, Ferrovial US Construction Corp. is leading the way on transportation infrastructure in Texas. The firm is a new addition to ENR Texas & Louisiana's annual ranking of top contractors. The company, an internationally based transportation contractor, saw strong growth in 2013, gaining nearly $270 million in regional revenue. Ferrovial was ranked third on this year's list of top contractors with regional revenue of $1.471 billion in 2013.

Photo courtesy of Ferrovial US Construction Corp., by Erich Schlegel/BDP Inc
Paving the Way: Workers prepare a screed for paving on the LBJ Express Project.
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For its outstanding growth and commitment to Texas roadways, a massive project portfolio and its dedication beyond the jobsite, ENR Texas & Louisiana has named Ferrovial US Construction Corp. its 2014 Contractor of the Year.

Getting to Texas

Ferrovial's operation in the United States is just one part of the company's large international identity. The Spanish firm has multiple business lines and is a major player in transportation infrastructure worldwide.

Texas-centric Ferrovial Agroman US Corp. (FAUS) is the U.S.-based arm of Ferrovial Agroman, which engages in civil works, building and industrial projects around the world.

"Going back several years to the days of the Trans Texas Corridor, we saw Texas as a great opportunity for years to follow," says Ignacio Vivancos, managing director at FAUS. "Essentially, we set up camp in Texas with the idea that it would be the most immediate opportunity to establish a U.S. and North American presence. In 2005, we began the acquisition of Webber LLC with this in mind. We wanted a solid, heavy-civil construction company with strong Texas roots, and Webber has fit that profile nicely for us.

"We also have, and will continue to have, Webber operate independently of FAUS. Yet, when an opportunity presents itself to join forces and be better together, we form a JV. Operating independently allows Webber to continue to successfully bid and execute traditional design-bid-build projects, which FAUS is not as well suited to execute in the U.S."

North Texas Project Boom

That strategy is coming into play in a major way with several projects in and around Dallas.

Two of FAUS/Webber's North Texas projects, the LBJ Express and the North Tarrant Express, represent nearly $5 billion in new infrastructure assets for the region, spanning 26 miles across nine municipalities and two counties, explains Daniel J. Filer, vice president of business development at FAUS.

"The NTE project is on track to finish this year, several months ahead of schedule," Filer says. "LBJ is not far behind it, and activity there will continue well into next year."

Collectively, a total of 300 companies have worked on the LBJ Express and NTE projects, "averaging over $3 million in construction a day," he says.

"Obviously, these two projects have a great deal to do with the increase in [our regional] revenues," he adds.

The LBJ Express I-635 Managed Lane Project is a $2.1-billion complex design-build project constructing approximately 13 miles of roadway that include six managed tolled lanes, eight general purpose non-tolled lanes and frontage roads.

Meanwhile, the North Tarrant Express (SH 183/Loop 820) is a $1.5-billion project that will provide eight to 10 lanes on I-820 and State Highways 121 and 183. Alongside NTE is the smaller North Tarrant Express Extension (I-35W), a $985-million, 6.5-mile design-build project on I-35W from north of I-30 to north of I-820, including the I-35W/I-820 interchange, which will start in the fourth quarter of this year.

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