U.S. Department of Transportation Announces up to $499.5 million loan to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority for the Complete 540 Phase 1 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 up to $499.5 million to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) for the Complete 540 Phase 1 Project (the Project). The Department provides Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and other surface transportation infrastructure financing through the Bureau.
As part of COVID-19 relief to borrowers, this loan will replace the current TIFIA loan that the Bureau provided to NCTA for the Project in December 2019. The lower interest rate on the new loan will provide NCTA significant interest cost savings. The loan proceeds will finance part of the construction of the Project, which consists of a 17.1-mile six-lane extension of the existing Triangle Expressway Toll road.
It is the first phase of a larger project to complete the 540 Outer Loop around greater Raleigh area. Once the Loop is fully complete, it will improve mobility for trips and reduce forecasted congestion on the existing roadway network in the Project area with substantial reduction in travel times. It will also provide more route choices for those who live, work or travel though the area.
Procurement of the Project was split into small segments to provide additional participation opportunities for local design and construction industry, and for contractors of various sizes and resources, including disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) to participate. Approximately $80 million in work is to be provided by DBE. Project construction is already underway and is on budget. NCTA expects to open the Project by July 2023.
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 help them for quicker recovery from this crisis. The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $34.5 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $120 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.