US Department of Transportation Announces Loan for HRBT Project

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The Hampton Roads I-64 tunnel bridge has long been one of the most congested corridors in the region.  (WYDaily / Courtesy of VDOT)
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced loans to invest in the HRBT project (WYDaily / Courtesy VDOT)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau (the Bureau) has provided a direct Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan of up to $ 1.66 billion to the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) for the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Project (HRBT) and to cancel and replace the existing 2019 TIFIA HRTAC loan. DOT provides financing for TIFIA and other surface transportation infrastructure through its Build America office to reduce the costs of infrastructure projects.

The funding consists of two TIFIA direct loans to HRTAC of up to $ 1.16 billion to fund up to 33% of the eligible costs of approximately $ 4 billion for the new HRBT project, supported by the Hampton Roads Trust Fund ( HRTF) and toll revenues.

The funding will also replace existing TIFIA loans of $ 501 million to the HRTAC regional priority project, which is a combination of 6 sub-projects: Peninsula I-64 enlargement (phases I, II and III), interchange improvements I-64 / I-264 (Phases I and II) and I-64 South side widening and high bridge improvements located in the Hampton Roads area of ​​Virginia. Replacing the existing HRTAC loan will generate savings of approximately $ 50 million for HRTAC over the life of the loan, allowing HRTAC to implement additional improvements and upgrades in their transport network.

The HRBT project is one of the regional priority projects to create an eight-lane facility with six coherent lanes for approximately 10 miles. The expanded facility will include four general-purpose lanes, two new high-occupancy (HOT) toll lanes and two new motorable shoulders that will be used as HOT lanes at certain times of the day. It is expected that the HOT lanes will be integrated into the Hampton Roads Expressway System (HRELN). The project will include the construction of two new two-lane tunnels, the expansion of the existing portal islands and the complete replacement of the existing trestle bridges at HRBT.

The benefits of the HRBT project include: increasing mobility in the region and reducing congestion, creating construction jobs and encouraging regional development; improve security by improving disaster evacuation routes and providing additional capacity for the rapid and efficient deployment of military personnel while minimizing the impact on civilian traffic.

The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit program, was established as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to streamline credit opportunities while providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in planning, financing, delivery. and project operation. The Office has the resources and full commitment to provide additional flexibility and financial assistance to transportation projects in areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to minimize the negative effects and help them recover more quickly from this. crisis. The U.S. Department of Transportation closed $ 36.1 billion in TIFIA funding, supporting more than $ 123 billion in infrastructure investments across the country.

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