WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that the Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau (Bureau) will provide a $152.2 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), at 2.84% with a term of 35 years after substantial completion for the I-15 Express Lanes Corridor Project (Project).
The Project will be built along a 14.6-mile corridor of Interstate 15 (“I-15”) in Riverside County, California, the fourth most populous county in California and the 11th most populous county in the United States, between the Cajalco Road interchange near the city of Corona to just south of the State Route 60 interchange near the San Bernardino/Riverside county line. The I-15 is a major north-south truck/passenger route that links inland Southern California to Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as to Las Vegas.
Once complete, the I-15 will have new managed lanes going both north and south, new retaining walls, storm water runoff treatment services, 11 bridge widenings, tie-ins to the existing travel lanes, an electronic toll collection system, a customer service center, and a traffic management system. RCTC estimates that the project will not only address current and future congestion issues, but also improves efficiency and reliability of goods movement from the country’s largest port complex, provides more transportation options and will create more than 3,300 jobs during construction and 525 permanent jobs after completion.
RCTC is seeking TIFIA funds to ensure accelerated delivery of the Project through use of the design-build model. Without the TIFIA Loan, RCTC believes it is likely that the Project would be delayed for at least two to three years, if not longer, until additional funding could be identified.
Marty Klepper, Executive Director of the Bureau, said: “By leveraging a loan from the Bureau, more projects like the I-15 Express Lanes Project can become viable. We have an open door policy for any transportation project sponsor to meet with our team to discuss Bureau loan programs that could move projects forward.”
The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit program, was established as a “one-stop shop” to streamline credit opportunities, while also providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring. To date, the TIFIA credit program has closed nearly $27.8 billion in financings, supporting nearly $101 billion in rail, highway and transit projects across the country.