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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Up to $448 Million Loan for the 183A Phase III, 183S, and 290E Phase III Road Projects in Austin

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Refinancing Projected to Save Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority More Than $80 Million

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau (the Bureau) has provided an up to $448.38 million consolidated Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) for tollway projects in the Austin, Texas metropolitan area. This is the first TIFIA loan to be closed under the Biden Administration. 

This TIFIA loan will finance a new project and refinance and replace two current loans that the Bureau provided to CTRMA for two tollway projects in November 2015 and March 2019 respectively. The new loans, at a lower interest rate, will save CTRMA more than $80 million in interest costs, providing relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
“This loan will support new infrastructure in the Austin area, giving residents better access to jobs, healthcare, and other critical services,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “As communities across the country continue to battle the pandemic, we are committed to being a partner to help them save money, reduce congestion and improve mobility, safety, and accessibility.”

CTRMA is using the money saved as a result of this refinancing to move forward with its capital development including obtaining new financing to begin the 183A Phase III project, a six-lane, 5.3-mile tollway project north of metro Austin, which will extend the existing 183A from Hero Way to SH 29, adding two tolled lanes in each direction. The two prior loans helped finance the 183S project--which constructed and improved a limited-access toll road located on the east side of Austin in the expanded median of US 183 between US 290 and SH 71--and also the 290E Phase III project east of Austin, which constructed three direct roads/flyovers to facilitate free flow movements between the 290E Toll Road and the SH 130 Toll Road. The 183A Phase III and 183S projects contain several pedestrian and bike-friendly features such as paved bicycle and pedestrian shared-use paths, as well as access to trails.  

“The refinancing of the TIFIA loans will offer CTRMA significant future debt service savings,” said Bill Chapman, CTRMA’s Interim Executive Director, and Chief Financial Officer.  “Lower TIFIA loan interest rates will provide for better coverage and help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, thereby enabling CTRMA to obtain the 183A Phase III TIFIA loan. The lower debt service will also provide for added future capacity and continued development of projects in the region.” 

The 183S and 290E Phase III projects are both already complete and open to traffic.  The 183A Phase III project is expected to open by January 2025. 

The Bureau, which administers the TIFIA credit program, was established under the Obama administration as a “one-stop-shop” to streamline credit opportunities while also providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation.  The Bureau has the resources and full commitment to provide additional flexibility and financial assistance to transportation projects in regions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the negative effects and help them for quicker recovery from this crisis.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $34.5 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $120 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.

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