Highways are at the heart of the Texas economy—and no law firm has more experience with this infrastructure than Locke Lord. Our lawyers drafted enabling legislation for the first public toll authority in Texas, and we have been involved in legislation governing transportation funding and toll road operations for decades. Locke Lord's in-depth knowledge and unique understanding of transportation issues is unbeatable.
Locke Lord's transportation lawyers are established national leaders in providing competent, high value transportation counsel to governmental entities and private businesses. We have represented most of the toll authorities in Texas and currently serve as general counsel to several including the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, and the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Our Firm is consistently hired by new toll road authorities because of our vast experience and competence in this arena.
Our dynamic and progressive transportation practice runs the gamut – from advising start-up entities on basic issues and legal requirements (such as open meetings and Public Information Act compliance, development of operating policies and access to start-up funding) to assisting long-established transportation providers on structuring creative public/private partnerships with design/build consortia and structuring pass-through financing for non-tolled projects.
We give advice on all phases of project development, financing, construction and operation. Our lawyers work closely with Locke Lord's environmental, public finance, litigation and public law lawyers to offer innovative approaches to transportation issues. We have helped our clients operate under intense public scrutiny and heated political and public debate over toll road funding in Texas.
From securing the right of way (through litigation if necessary) and financing for a transportation project, through construction and operation, to providing counsel to carriers on operation and hazardous material transport, Locke Lord lawyers know the transportation industry. We are active members of the International Bridge Tunnel & Turnpike Association and local transportation advocacy groups throughout the state, and are frequent lecturers on transportation topics.
Locke Lord has an extensive practice representing motor carriers appearing before U.S. local, state and federal transportation agencies and other regulatory bodies. Our lawyers counsel both carriers and shippers regarding goods in transit and related rates. As part of this work, we advise clients on the transportation of hazardous products and materials, and we help clients respond to alleged violations of state and federal transportation inspections and other regulations.
Working closely with the Firm's environmental lawyers, our transportation team provides prompt and effective response to environmentally sensitive events when they arise, whether in the context of litigating environmental claims, acting in contested administrative permit or enforcement proceedings or establishing and maintaining regulatory compliance.
We guide our materials transport clients by reviewing and assisting in the preparation of permits and compliance plans for hazardous and solid waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities and related concerns. We also counsel on overseeing the cleanup and closure of waste facilities, releases of regulated substances, oil and gas properties, gas transmission facilities and underground storage tank locations.
Our lawyers represent landowners, developers and other private entities to resolve access, eminent domain and other transportation-related issues that arise in connection with the development, ownership or operation of their properties or conduct of their businesses. We are experienced in the acquisition of rights-of-way for transportation facilities, both through condemnation and other means. And our counsel has involved rights of way for energy and pipeline projects, as well as highways.
Our lawyers are unsurpassed at helping clients get financing for complex infrastructure projects and seeing them through to completion. Locke Lord drafted the enabling legislation for the Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA) in 1953, served as its general counsel, then drafted the legislation that replaced the TTA with two successor agencies: the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), a regional tollway authority operating in North Central Texas, and the new Texas Turnpike Authority, the statewide toll agency operating as a division of the Texas Department of Transportation (TTA Division). And we won the right to serve as general counsel to both agencies.
More recently, Locke Lord lawyers were involved in rule making proceedings affecting the formation of Regional Mobility Authorities (RMA), an area where new legal precedents are set each time another RMA is formed.
For each of the TTA, NTTA and the TTA Division, our lawyers serve as counsel for numerous tasks associated with planning, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of turnpike projects. That includes drafting and assisting in the passage of necessary legislation, drafting rules and supporting their enactment, securing financing and handling the procurement process for necessary technologies and specialized services. Our lawyers also draft and negotiate contracts with engineers and contractors, draft and negotiate the necessary interlocal and interagency agreements, oversee the environmental permitting process, acquire right-of-way through negotiation or eminent domain and litigate construction disputes, inverse condemnation claims and other issues.