ROADS CONSTRUCTION: Houston Grand Parkway receives $840M TIFIA loan

Four-­lane, 55-­mile toll road will improve mobility around fast-growing Houston

February 07, 2014

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the closing of an $840 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the Grand Parkway Project in greater Houston that will improve safety and add highway capacity in this fast-growing region of Texas.

“The Grand Parkway Project is just the latest example of how DOT is using innovative programs like TIFIA to help states and cities pursue their transportation priorities,” said Foxx.

The completed Grand Parkway Project will be a four­-lane, 55­-mile toll road in northwest Harris County and southeast Montgomery County. The TIFIA loan will go toward the design and construction of specific sections of the project.

“Houston continues to grow and these improvements will help the region’s mobility needs and further strengthen the region’s economy,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau.

The project is part of the broader Grand Parkway System—a proposed 184­-mile highway that crosses seven counties and encircles the greater Houston metropolitan area from State Highway 146 in Galveston County to State Highway 146 in Baytown. The region served by the project has seen significant population growth over the last few decades—increasing about 6% per year. This growth has increased traffic demands and the need for additional capacity and highway improvements.

TIFIA provides federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects. It is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial nonfederal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 40 projects turn almost $15.6 billion in DOT assistance into more than $58 billion in infrastructure investment across America. The transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), transformed TIFIA into one of the largest transportation infrastructure loan programs in history, making up to $17 billion available in credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects.

The TIFIA loan will go toward the $2.5 billion total project cost.