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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces $880 Million in Innovative Federal Financing

Thu November 30, 2000 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater recently named two more projects to benefit from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA).

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will provide $880 million of credit assistance in the form of federal loans to projects of national and regional significance in Texas and Nevada worth $3.46 billion. This credit assistance is estimated to cost the federal government only $95 million. Therefore, every TIFIA dollar spent will contribute to more than $36 in capital investment.

TIFIA, authorized under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and signed into law by President Clinton in June 1998, authorized an innovative financing program under which the DOT provides credit assistance rather than grants to public and private sponsors of major surface transportation projects. The DOT has now selected 10 projects to benefit from TIFIA, at a budgetary cost of only $194 million to the federal government, providing $3.14 billion in credit assistance supporting transportation investments worth nearly $12 billion.

The two projects selected for fiscal year 2001 funding under TIFIA are the Central Texas Turnpike Project in Texas and the Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor Project in Nevada.

TIFIA is designed to provide federal credit assistance to major transportation infrastructure projects that address critical national needs, such as intermodal facilities, border crossing infrastructure, highway trade corridors, and transit and passenger rail facilities with regional and national benefits.

Projects eligible for assistance under TIFIA include highways and bridges; transit facilities and vehicles; intercity passenger bus and rail facilities and vehicles, including Amtrak and components of magnetic levitation systems; and publicly owned intermodal surface freight transfer facilities that are on or adjacent to the National Highway System.

To be eligible, a project also must generally cost at least $100 million or equal at least 50 percent of the amount of federal highway assistance funds apportioned for the most recent fiscal year to the state in which the project is located. The project also must be supported at least partially by user charges or other dedicated revenues.

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