Financing could leverage up to $50 billion in transportation investment
Transportation secretary Ray LaHood announced the availability of up to $17 billion in loans for
infrastructure projects across the country as a result of the recently enacted surface
transportation bill, according to a July 27 press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
LaHood encouraged states and cities to submit letters of interest for the TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure
Finance and Innovation Act) program, which provides direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines
of credit to infrastructure projects with the potential to create jobs and spur economic
“Americans have always done big things, not in spite of hard times, but as a means of overcoming
them,” said LaHood. “ … these investments will help cities and states create jobs right away
building the big transportation projects we need to make sure our economy continues to grow and
The release noted that the recently enacted surface transportation bill, known as MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for
Progress in the 21st century), provided $1.7 billion in capital over two years for the TIFIA credit
assistance program, up from $120 million in FY2012, making it the largest transportation
infrastructure finance fund in the U.S. DOT’s history. Each dollar of federal funds can provide
approximately $10 in TIFIA credit assistance, meaning $17 billion in loans through TIFIA, which in
turn can leverage $20-$30 billion in transportation infrastructure investment. Altogether, the
expanded federal loan program could result in up to $50 billion in federal, state, local, and
private sector investment for critical transportation projects across the country, according to the
Projects eligible for this funding include highway and passenger rail projects, public transit,
and bridges and tunnels. The DOT release stated: “… many qualified, large-scale projects that might
otherwise be delayed or shelved can move forward quickly, providing an immediate boost to jobs while
laying a foundation for continued economic growth.”
To date, the TIFIA program has used $9.2 billion in funding to leverage more than $36.4 billion
in private and other capital to help build 27 transportation
projects around the country, such as:
- Presidio Parkway Project in California, which is replacing the structurally and seismically
deficient access road to the Golden Gate Bridge with the Presidio Parkway, which will connect San
Francisco and Marin counties.
- Miami’s Intermodal Facility, which will help travelers easily
connect to the Miami International Airport, Metrorail transit, and Tri-Rail commuter rail.
- Denver’s Union Station
- the Midtown and Downtown tunnels in Virginia.
In addition to announcing the availability of the expanded TIFIA funding, LaHood also announced
the establishment of the Project Finance Center (PFC) to help state and local government project
sponsors analyze financial options for highway, transit, rail, intermodal, and other surface
transportation projects facing funding challenges. The press release noted that through the PFC, the
DOT will have an to provide technical assistance to state and local sponsors of surface
transportation projects seeking financial support, making it easier for communities to build the
transportation projects they need.
Click here for a copy of
the notice of funding availability that was delivered to the federal register.