US 183 Project Wins Crucial Loan

Austin’s congestion will be relieved.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associated Editor

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for $282 million to finance the construction of additional lanes on an eight-mile stretch of US 183 in Austin.

The lanes will be built on the US 183 corridor from US 290 to SH 71, one of Austin’s most important arterials and the primary route to and from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. US 183 was constructed in the mid-1960s as a four-lane divided highway. Today, it attracts more than 60,000 cars and trucks a day.

“Americans deserve a transportation system that is safe, reliable, and efficient,” said Foxx in a statement. “Transportation agencies that take advantage of this innovative funding approach can build projects like US 183 that support our economy and that might otherwise go unfunded.”

The TIFIA loan program is a tool designed for financing roads, transit, rail, and other surface transportation projects; it leverages federal funds by attracting private capital and other non-federal investments.

The estimated cost of the project is at $856 million and includes new tolled and non-tolled lanes in each direction as well as pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians; the $282 million federal loan will be administered by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.

“The US 183 project will improve mobility and the quality of life for people in cars, on bike, or on foot in the Austin area,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “It also is an answer to the increasing transportation demands that have resulted from the rapid development in the region.”

The TIFIA program was created to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. In 2015, the TIFIA program financed $2.7 billion to support transportation infrastructure across the country.

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