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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces up to $464.96 million in new Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (“TIFIA”) Credit Assistance to Central 70 Project in Colorado

Monday, September 20, 2021

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 new TIFIA direct loan in the amount of up to $464.96 million to the Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC (KMP) for the Central 70 Project (the Project).  The Department provides TIFIA and other surface transportation infrastructure financing through the Bureau.

This loan replaces a $416 million (plus capitalized interest) TIFIA loan that the Bureau provided to KMP for the Project in December 2017.  The new loan at a reduced interest rate allowed for additional loan principal increase of nearly $50 million to facilitate project completion.  

Apart from the TIFIA loan, the project is being funded by proceeds of both tax-exempt private activity bond and taxable bond issuances, contributions from Colorado DOT, the Colorado Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise, the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (together the “Enterprises”), and other local and state entities, and equity contributions from project sponsors Kiewit and Meridiam.  

When completed, the Project will include three general purpose lanes and one managed lane in each direction and will provide numerous benefits including reduction in travel time and improved safety standards.  Additionally, the construction of a four-acre section of park above the highway will reconnect the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, minority communities that were divided when the original viaduct was built in 1960.  The Project is scheduled for completion in early 2023.

The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit assistance program, was established in 2016 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 assist with quicker recovery from this crisis.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $35 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $122 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.