DOT Grants a $106 Million Loan for Colorado’s HPTE
By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW
During the campaign, the President pledged his intention on fixing the nation's failing infrastructure, and Trump seems to be making good on that promise. The President met with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao this week at the Roads, Rails & Regulatory Relief event, and has been active in the issue and formulating options.
Evidence of that commitment was apparent when U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau (the Bureau) will provide a $106.95 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) at 2.81%, with a term of 35 years, after substantial completion to finance the completion of the C-470 Express Lanes Project (the Project).
The C-470 is a 26-mile 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 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 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 Project during a typical evening westbound commute can experience travel time savings up to 18 minutes.
The TIFIA loan will be used towards funding (a) 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; (b) westbound auxiliary lanes between ramps from University Boulevard to Platte Canyon Road/Chatfield Avenue and from Yosemite Street to Quebec Street; and (c) one eastbound ETL from Wadsworth to I-25/E-470.
“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.”
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 $26.4 billion in financings, supporting nearly $96 billion in rail, highway, and transit projects across the country.
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