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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Up to $501.5 Million Loan for the Complete 540 Project in Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau (the Bureau) will provide up to a $501.5 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) to help finance the Complete 540 Project in the greater Raleigh area.  

“This $501.5 million federal investment in transportation infrastructure in the Raleigh region will promote economic growth while enhancing mobility and reducing congestion for area residents and travelers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Complete 540 Project extends the Triangle Expressway (Tri-Ex) an additional 17.1 miles, increasing capacity by adding six new tolled lanes (three in each direction), several interchanges with intersecting roads, 55 bridges, 25 box culverts, and two stream crossings.  The project was split into three segments, each with separate design-build contracts to provide participation opportunities to contractors of various sizes and resources. 

The Tri-Ex is a six-lane, 18.8-mile limited access toll road with three through travel lanes per direction.  Tri-Ex, which opened to tolled traffic in January 2013, also received a TIFIA loan of $386.66 million in July 2009.  The project will improve mobility for trips within and traveling through the area during peak travel periods and will address increased transportation demands on the existing roadway network.

NCTA was established in 2002 to study, design, plan, construct, promote, own, finance, and operate a system of toll roads, bridges, and/or tunnels supplementing the traditional non-toll state transportation system.  Effective in 2009, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation to transfer NCTA to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The primary source of repayment for the TIFIA loan will be the toll revenues generated on the Tri-Ex System, which includes this project. 

The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit program, was established 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 monitoring.  During Secretary Chao’s tenure at DOT, the Department has closed nearly $6.2 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting over $21.2 billion in infrastructure projects across the country.