North Carolina Inks its First Public-Private Partnership for Highway Construction
The state of North Carolina closed the financial deal on its first highway public-private partnership—the I-77 Express Lanes Project. Simon Santiago and Corey Brook report that the project "with a design and construction cost estimated at approximately $591 million, will add 26 miles of tolled, express lanes along the existing I-77 corridor in the Charlotte region."
As for the financial terms of the public-private partnership (PPP), "[t]he financing package includes $100 million of private activity bonds and a $189 million TIFIA loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation, all of which are to be repaid by the project’s developer, I-77 Mobility Partners."
"The developer will design, build, toll, operate and maintain the express lanes for 50 years after construction and will assume the risk if toll revenues do not meet projections."
A press release announcing the deal, from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, claims that the PPP "facilitates the completion of the I-77 Express Lanes project by 2018, instead of relying on traditional funding to make piecemeal improvements to the I-77 Corridor during the next two decades."