ROADS/BRIDGES: Fla. lands largest-ever P3 TIFIA loan for work on I-4

U.S. DOT releases $950 million for the reconstruction and widening of 21 miles in Orlando

News September 10, 2014
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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at the Build America Infrastructure Investment Summit a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for $950 million to help pay for the reconstruction and widening of 21 miles of I-4 in metropolitan Orlando, Fla. This is the largest loan the U.S. DOT has awarded to a public-private partnership (P3). When completed, the project will relieve congestion in one of the country’s most heavily traveled areas. 
Known as the “I-4 Ultimate,” the project is part of the 54-year-old I-4 corridor, which runs 73 miles between Tampa and Daytona Beach and serves several of the region’s key north-south corridors, such as Florida’s Turnpike and I-95.
“We’ve been able to move this project from the financing drawing board to breaking ground in near record time because of the [U.S. DOT’s] early involvement,” said Foxx. “The ‘I-4 Ultimate’ is the sort of highway improvement America’s drivers’ need, and it underscores the importance of passing the President’s Grow America Act to make more investments to modernize our aging roads to keep up with future demands.”
This project benefited from FDOT’s engagement with the U.S. DOT early in the P3 process and using a new, streamlined P3 process that includes a standard term sheet. The U.S. DOT established a new Build America Transportation Investment Center to help connect more project sponsors to departmental programs like TIFIA and encourage the use such process improvements.
“Without a loan like this, Orlando’s I-4 would have continued to age requiring even more costly fixes in the years ahead, creating additional traffic delays without any hope of congestion relief,” said acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “The travel demands in this area of Florida continue to grow, which is why the ‘I-4 Ultimate’ is the right solution at the right time.”
By utilizing TIFIA, FDOT will save tens of millions of dollars in availability payments over the course of the concession. The TIFIA loan will be used to replace six general-purpose lanes on I-4 and add four new express lanes on a 21-mile section of I-4 that runs through Orlando, from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of S.R. 434 in Seminole County. I-4 in Orlando serves some of world’s most popular travel destinations, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando. Growth in both resident and visitor populations have spurred employment, which have all contributed to increased regional traffic congestion.

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