US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced that the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Build America Bureau will provide a US$99.6m loan to the City of Bellevue in Washington State to complete a multimodal transportation project.
The Bureau’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan is at 2.86%, with a term of 35 years after substantial completion, which will finance the completion of Bellvue’s BelRed Street Network Project.
The city is developing a combination of 12 multimodal roadways that are planned to support the new BelRed neighborhood in the north part of Bellvue. A growing economic center, Bellevue is geographically connected to Seattle, the University of Washington, the Port of Seattle, and the greater Eastside, and is at the center of a regional system of interstate highways, local street networks and transit facilities. Substantial completion is anticipated in early 2023.
According to the City of Bellevue, the TIFIA loan will accelerate the transformation of the BelRed area, presenting an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and housing units that will make use of the regional investment of a multimodal transportation system. With a total project cost of US$323.2m, the Street Network Project, along with the introduction of East Link light rail by Sound Transit, is intended to provide a catalyst for redevelopment of the BelRed neighborhood to be connected, multi-modal, pedestrian-friendly, and transit-oriented.
The multimodal transportation network will be focused on the BelRed Corridor, a 900-acre area that stretches between State Route 520 to the north and Bel-Red Road to the south, and from Interstate 405 east to 148th Avenue Northeast. The Project will deliver multi-modal mobility enhancements that are expected to improve access to transit, reduce travel times, and improve access to employment along the Project path.
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. To date, the TIFIA credit program has closed US$26.4bn in financings, supporting US$96bn in rail, highway, and transit projects across the country.
Marty Klepper, executive director of the Bureau, said, “We are also pleased to have successfully worked with Bellevue to complete the credit review and approval process in eight months under a new streamlined process specially designed for entities with highly rated credit, shortening the overall transaction time and costs.”