U.S. Department of Transportation Announces up to $225 million to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) for construction of the I-10 Corridor Express Lanes project
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau (the Bureau) has provided a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan of up to $225 million to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) for the I-10 Corridor Express Lanes Project (the Project).
This TIFIA loan will replace the current loan that the Bureau provided to SBCTA for the Project in April 2019. The loan will help finance construction costs associated with the 10-mile widening of the I-10 highway between the Los Angeles county line and the I-15 in San Bernardino County. The I-10 is one of three national coast-to-coast Interstate routes, providing east-west access from California to Florida. As part of the Primary Freight Network, the I-10 is also an important route for facilitating goods movement between Southern California and the rest of the Nation.
The existing loan has not been drawn and the new loan, at a lower interest rate, will save SBCTA approximately $53 million in nominal dollars and over $30 million in present value terms over the life of the loan. These savings will help to partially mitigate reduced agency revenue during the pandemic, as well as aid in accelerating additional planned network express lanes on the I-15 and the remainder of I-10 in San Bernardino County.
The Project will provide numerous benefits including reduction in peak time congestion and emissions, improved access to transit, safety improvements, job creation and accommodation of future growth in the area and at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. More specifically, it will improve transit access via Omnitrans bus service with connections to Metrolink at San Bernardino and Montclair Transit Centers, and features no account maintenance fees, cash options for account replenishment, a low-income assistance program, and robust public outreach.
The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit program, was established under the Obama administration 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 operation. The Bureau has the resources and full commitment to provide additional flexibility and financial assistance to transportation projects in regions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the negative effects and to aid in the recovery from this crisis. The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $34.5 billion in TIFIA financings to date, supporting more than $120 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.