U.S. DOT Announces $209 Million Loan for Portsmouth Bypass in Ohio
WASHINGTON, April 2, 2015 – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for up to $209.3 million to finance the Portsmouth Bypass in Scioto County, Ohio.
The Portsmouth Bypass is the Ohio Department of Transportation’s largest single construction project—and its first public-private partnership (PPP) under new rules in the state that allow the private sector to participate in public transportation projects. As part of the Administration’s Build America Investment Initiative, USDOT is working to expand opportunities for partnership between the public and private sectors, including through the establishment of a new Build America Transportation Investment Center as a one-stop shop to support potential PPP projects.
“This is an important project that will not only improve highway safety, but represents an important partnership between the public and private sector to advance our overall investment in this nation’s infrastructure.” Secretary Foxx said. “The Portsmouth Bypass will benefit the entire community by reducing the number of trucks in the city and opening up the area for economic development.”
The Portsmouth Bypass is the type of project that seeks to address current traffic challenges that will only grow over time. Secretary Foxx identified some of those future challenges in Beyond Traffic, a recent report released by USDOT. Beyond Traffic examines the trends and choices facing America’s transportation infrastructure over the next three decades, including a rapidly growing population, increasing freight volume, demographic shifts in rural and urban areas, and a transportation system that’s facing more frequent extreme weather events. Increased gridlock nationwide can be expected unless changes are made in the near-term.
The project is a 16-mile, limited access, four-lane highway that will bypass about 26 miles of US 52 and US 23 in Portsmouth. Once completed, ODOT estimates it will reduce travel time by 16 minutes compared to the alternative routes in the area.
“By using a P3 project delivery, ODOT is able to accelerate this project,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. “The TIFIA program is providing a critical piece of the financing to complete the missing link of the Appalachian Development Highway System in Ohio.”
The Portsmouth Gateway Group, a consortium of private sector infrastructure developers, will receive the TIFIA loan to build the project. The group will operate and maintain the project for up to 35 years after completion.
The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 51 projects turn $22 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation assistance into $78 billion in infrastructure investment across America.