An airport connector near Richmond will be built, thanks to a $150 million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
"The reality of current funding and the growing demand on America's transportation network calls for new ways of financing our transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. "This loan will put this project back on track so construction and commuters can get moving again."
The Connector is a planned segment of the Pocahontas Parkway that was never built due to insufficient state funds. The loan will refinance a portion of debt assumed by Transurban, the highway management firm currently leasing the tolling rights to the 8.8-mile parkway, who agreed last year to build the Connector provided that the state and federal governments assist with the project’s financing.
“By speeding the capital needed to begin a project of this size, we are proving once again the benefits of public-private partnerships in improving America’s roads,” said FHWA’s Administrator J. Richard Capka.
The loan would be applied toward the $798 million cost of the entire project, which includes the cost of building the Richmond Airport Connector. The loan’s interest rate, tied to the long-bond interest rate of the U.S. Treasury Department is set at 5.16 percent.
The loan is made possible by the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) of 1998.