North Texas Tollway Authority
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, U.S.

State Highway 161

The Fluor-led joint venture of Prairie Link Constructors (PLC) used the design-build approach to deliver Phase 4 of the State Highway 161 (SH 161) toll road for the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA). The NTTA operates and maintains the toll road.

Phase 4 included the design and construction of two toll lanes in each direction along 6.5 miles of SH 161, extending from north of Interstate Highway (IH) 30 to IH 20, and includes multi-level interchanges at both interstate highways. PLC constructed an undercrossing beneath the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and West Main Street and West Jefferson Street, which lie on either side of the railroad.

During Phase 4, PLC accommodated the ultimate facility configuration by constructing three-lane mainline bridges in each direction.

The SH 161 project was ranked 7th in Roads & Bridges magazine's Top 10 Roads List for 2012, recognizing the top road projects in North America based on project challenges, impact to region, and scope of work.

Client's Challenge

The NTTA selected PLC in August 2009 to design and construct Phase 4 of the SH 161 project. Fluor served as the managing partner of PLC, a joint venture of Fluor and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. The lead designer was AECOM Technology Corporation. The contract value was US$423 million. (NTTA's original estimate for the project was US$610 million). NTTA was responsible for arranging the toll equity financing and will also operate and maintain the length of the SH 161 Tollway.

The SH 161 project is in a high-growth corridor of Dallas-Fort Worth. As part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the new connector highway has a key role in improving the intraregional transportation network. Phase 4 is the final phase of construction of 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) of the 11.5-mile (18.5 kilometers) SH 161 corridor, which is part of the growing transportation loop around Dallas. The other three phases were fully or substantially completed and opened to traffic when the contract to Phase 4 was awarded to PLC.


Fluor's Solution

The Fluor-led joint venture used the design-build approach to deliver Phase 4 of the SH 161 toll road for NTTA. The NTTA will operate and maintain the toll road.

The multi-level interchange at IH 20 includes a three-leg, four-level interchange with four direct connector ramps. At the IH 30 interchange, the improvements comprise a fully directional, five-level interchange with eight direct connector ramps consisting of either one or two lanes.

Three direct connector ramps are depressed. Substantial completion of the multi-level interchanges at IH 20 and IH 30 and the main lanes occurred in the fourth quarter of 2012.

  • Added a five-level interchange with five direct connector ramps being elevated; and three direct connector ramps being depressed
  • Added 45 bridges
  • Constructed nearly 1 million square feet of retaining wall


The SH 161 project was completed on schedule and on budget in the fourth quarter 2012.

At peak, the project mobilized more than 800 subcontract, management, and craft personnel and achieved more than 3 million work hours without a lost-time incident.