WASHINGTON — On Fri, Nov. 17, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that its Build America Bureau is providing a $141 million low-interest loan to the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) to improve the safety and mobility of the Interstate 64 in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
This loan is provided to the HRTAC on behalf of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), according to a news release.
The bureau is helping communities nationwide by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and other financing opportunities, which expedites infrastructure projects and reduces project costs.
Hampton Roads includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg.
“This project will eliminate a key regional supply chain bottleneck and has vast economic and job creation potential by providing a consistently reliable connection to Virginia’s port system, the third largest on the East Coast,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “Additionally, the project will enhance safety by improving the emergency evacuation route for the region.”
The overall $445 million project is part of the Hampton Roads Express Lanes Network, a 45-mile system of continuous express lanes along I-64.
The project, “Segment 4C,” addresses one of the area’s most significant areas with the most issues, the 2.5 miles from LaSalle Avenue to Settlers Landing Road, the news release noted.
Construction here will include one full-time express lane, one part-time express lane, and two general-purpose lanes in each direction. The Hampton Road Transit buses will bypass the general-purpose lanes, generating lower carbon emissions and faster travel times for transit riders.
“Virginia’s innovative financing approach is helping to deliver these overdue improvements at a lower cost,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “Additionally, with over 80,000 active-duty military personnel at eight installations in Hampton Roads, improving regional mobility is critical to national security.”
The project is expected to be completed near the end of 2026, according to the VDOT. Other improvements include constructing noise walls, replacing bridges at Hampton River, and rehabilitating four bridges at Hampton River, King Street, and Settlers Landing Road. The estimated travel time will range between 10-15 minutes in the express and general-purpose lanes.
“We estimate that this TIFIA loan and the associated interim financing generated $18 million net savings for the commission. When including the three previous loans, the TIFIA program has provided $1.8 billion of funding to date for the Commission with a $495 million aggregate net savings,” said HRTAC Executive Director Kevin Page. “These enormous savings have allowed the Commission to not only ensure delivery of current projects under construction but also provide funding for future projects in our capital program.”
This is the third project that has been financed with TIFIA. The first project was the Hampton Roads Regional Priority Project; the second was the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel Project.
The USDOT has closed more than $39.7 billion in TIFIA financings by supporting more than $135.8 billion in infrastructure investment nationwide.
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.