US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced that the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Build America Bureau will provide a US$106.95m loan to the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) for the C-470 Express Lanes Project.
The USDOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to HPTE is at 2.81%, with a term of 35 years after substantial completion, which will finance the completion of the Express Lanes Project. The C-470 is a 26-mile long (42km) highway that runs along the southern and western part of the Denver metropolitan area, stretching between the intersection of I-25 and E-470 in the east, to the intersection of US-36 and I-70 in the west.
The Express Lanes Project is the first phase of a multi-phase project and is intended to deliver additional capacity along this congested corridor by adding express tolled lanes (ETLs) and improving road layout over approximately 11.2 miles (18km) of the highway. Substantial completion is expected in July 2019.
According to the HPTE, the Project will enhance mobility for all corridor users, regardless of whether they choose to pay for access to the C-470 Express Lanes. The HPTE expects that those who choose to use the tolled lanes during a typical evening westbound commute can experience travel time savings up to 18 minutes. The TIFIA loan will be used toward funding:
Two westbound ETLs from I-25 to 0.9 miles east of the University Boulevard off-ramp (near Colorado Boulevard), transitioning into one ETL from that location to just east of Wadsworth Boulevard, for a total length of 11.2 miles;
Westbound auxiliary lanes between ramps from University Boulevard to Platte Canyon Road/Chatfield Avenue and from Yosemite Street to Quebec Street;
One eastbound ETL from Wadsworth to I-25/E-470.
The Build America 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 nearly US$96bn in rail, highway and transit projects across the country.
“By leveraging a loan from the Bureau, more projects like the C-470 Express Lane Project can become viable,” said Marty Klepper, executive director of the Bureau. “We have an open door policy for any transportation project sponsor to meet with our team to discuss Bureau loan programs that could move projects forward.”