WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), though its Build America Bureau (BAB), has provided a low-interest loan for up to $86.6 million to the Louisiana State Bond Commission to fund the I-49 S. Ambassador Caffery/US 90 Interchange near Broussard in Lafayette Parish.
The BAB helps communities across the country reduce the costs of infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans, known as TIFIA loans, and other types of financing.
Louisiana’s loan money, according to a USDOT news release, will be managed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation.
This is the last project of four from a transportation project financing package approved by the BAB in August 2021 and funded through a British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon settlement.
The project, approximately 2.4 miles in length, includes new two-lane frontage roads and construction of interchanges at U.S. 90 and Ambassador Caffery Blvd. and U.S. 90 and Albertson Parkway.
“This interchange project will enhance safety, improve evacuations during life-threatening weather events, and is part of an overall improvement plan that supports job creation for the region,” Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg said.
“Louisiana leaders developed a package of projects that the bureau was able to review and approve as a bundle, speeding up the process for each individual loan,” said BAB Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “Three of the four projects qualified for reduced interest rates, half the treasury rate, through our Rural Projects Initiative.”
The BAB was established as a “one-stop-shop” during the Obama Administration to help states and other project sponsors carry out infrastructure projects.
The BAB offers low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery and operation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November 2021, expands project eligibility for the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program and extends maturity of the loans, giving borrowers additional flexibility.
USDOT has closed $38.4 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $132 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.
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