Largest TIFIA Loan to P3 Goes to Florida's 'I-4 Ultimate' Project
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx made the announcement of the record $950 million loan at Tuesday's (Sept. 9) special infrastructure summit convened by both the Treasury and Transportation Departments to bring together "over 100 leaders from industry, finance, philanthropy, and local and state governments", according to the Treasury press center, to highlight the need for infrastructure investments of all types.
"The financing for the project through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act [TIFIA] is the largest loan that DOT has given to a public-private partnership project, Foxx said," writes Eugene Mulero, staff reporter for Transport Topics.
Florida officials have been seeking assistance for the widening and rebuilding of 21 miles of I-4. This “I-4 Ultimate” project is an effort to ease congestion on a popular stretch of road in that part of the Sunshine State.
According to the I-4 Ultimate website, "two variable toll priced Express Lanes will be added in each direction of I-4. Pricing will go up or down depending on the number of vehicles using the Express Lanes. The tolls will be collected electronically, with automated signs notifying motorists of the cost, which drivers will lock in when entering the Express Lanes."
New efforts include $518 million in loans for 22 electric projects from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will build 5,600 miles of electrical lines in rural areas and improve the electric grid. Lew said the grid is unable to withstand many outages tied to weather, costing the U.S. economy up to $33 billion each year.
According to USA Today, the announcement by Foxx at the summit suggests that "there could be more tolls" applied to American highways in the future.
Discussions at the summit "will help inform recommendations the working group is due to deliver to the President on November 14, 2014," according to the Treasury Press Center.
[Hat tip to AASHTO Daily Transportation Update]