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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Two Loans Totaling Nearly $41 million to Help Louisiana Rebuild Rural Bridges and Provide Ferry Service

Monday, November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau has provided low-interest loans totaling $40.9 million to the Louisiana State Bond Commission for the benefit of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) for a ferry project and a bridge improvement program. 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.

The two projects that will benefit from TIFIA financing are:

  • A $19.2 million loan is for the Cameron Parish Ferry Project to provide ferry service between the Calcasieu Ship Channel on LA 27 between Cameron and Holly Beach in Cameron Parish. The scope of the project includes the design and construction of two vehicle/passenger ferries, each capable of carrying at least 35 automobiles and six semi-trucks, and 500 passengers. 
  • A $21.7 million loan is for the Statewide Bridge Program which consists of six projects, including replacement of 11 structurally deficient bridges in rural areas across six different parishes throughout central and eastern Louisiana.

The projects qualify for TIFIA’s Rural Project Initiative, which offers loans for up to 49% of the project’s eligible costs, as well as fixed interest rates that are half the U.S. Treasury rate.

“USDOT’s support for these ferry and bridge projects will help Louisiana keep people, goods, and services moving across the state,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “We are excited to support Louisiana’s efforts to improve infrastructure, connectivity, and safety for rural communities.”

“These are the fifth and sixth loans that Louisiana has closed over the past year as part of a bundle approach, which allows for more efficient processing and expedient closing. This is a model for projects around the country as we put infrastructure funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to work,” said Executive Director Morteza Farajian.  

USDOT’s Build America 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 $38.5 billion in TIFIA financing, supporting more than $132.5 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.