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Success Stories

The Long and Winding Road Made Straight: Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies

Two regional transportation agencies asked Nossaman to help implement their vision of three roads that would speed travelers to developing areas of Southern California. The San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency wanted to build a system of toll roads through largely undeveloped areas of Orange County.

They envisioned a system of regional toll roads financed without federal or state tax revenues. As the agencies' general counsel, Nossaman has been integrally involved in all aspects of planning, developing, and operating the toll road system. We mapped out a strategy to comply with rigorous state and federal environmental regulations and to defend against anticipated lawsuits. The agencies successfully obtained all environmental approvals and protected and restored 2,100 acres of habitat for endangered and threatened species.

Nossaman also played an instrumental role in developing the design-build contracts for the toll roads and contracts for the toll collection and revenue management system. Design-build was used to accelerate project delivery and enable use of project revenue financing. These projects started the recent trend towards the use of design-build for major transportation projects in the U.S.

Despite numerous lawsuits, the agencies raised over three billion dollars in financing and completed 50 miles of new regional highways ahead of schedule.

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