U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $48.2 Million Loan for Rural Highway Safety Project in Nicollet County, Minnesota
Bureau’s Rural Project Initiative Provides Financing at Half the Treasury Rate
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau has provided a low-interest loan of up to $48.2 million to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) to reconstruct 12 miles of Highway 14 to a four-lane, divided highway from the City of New Ulm to the City of Nicollet, bypassing the City of Courtland – helping to improve safety on a critical rural highway.
The Bureau helps communities across the country reduce the costs of infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans, known as TIFIA loans, and other types of financing. Under the Rural Projects Initiative (RPI), this loan is for half the treasury rate and for nearly half the $98.38 million project costs instead of the customary 33 percent.
Expected to be complete in 2024, the project includes a new interchange, safer intersections in the City of New Ulm, new turn lanes, replacement of three bridges, construction of two new bridges, safety improvements and modernization, including the installation of improved lighting, intelligent transportation systems, and a snow fence.
“The project will enhance safety and reduce travel time, improving access to vital services for communities on the corridor. These improvements will both provide a higher quality of life for rural Minnesotans and save lives.” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an update to the comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy released earlier this year. To help save lives, the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes historic levels of funding to address safety, especially in rural areas, where a disproportionate number of traffic injuries and fatalities occur.
“I am pleased to see our partners in Minnesota have successfully closed their first loan under our TIFIA Program, which will help them deliver much-needed improvements sooner and cheaper at a very low financing cost,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “The Bureau is continually looking to assist more partners to explore innovative options and offer consultation and technical assistance to deliver their projects more efficiently and effectively.”
The Bureau was established as a “one-stop-shop” during the Obama Administration to help states and other project sponsors carry out infrastructure projects. The Bureau offers low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance, and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November 2021, expands project eligibility for the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program and extends maturity of the loans, giving borrowers additional flexibility.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $38.6 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $132.6 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.