71.8 F
New York
Monday, July 22, 2024

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $114 Million in Federal Loans to Benefit Rural Oklahoma Communities

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces 4 Million in Federal Loans to Benefit Rural Oklahoma Communities

Project Will Improve Road Safety in 15 Counties 

Washington – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau has provided three loans for up to $113.8 million to the Oklahoma Capital Improvement Authority (OCIA), on behalf of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to improve rural road safety across 15 counties in the state. By providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and other financing, the Bureau helps communities expedite infrastructure projects and reduce project costs.   

“On behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration and USDOT, I am proud to deliver this $113.8 million investment to Oklahoma. This financing, combined with two prior loans, will improve over 100 miles of rural roads, enhancing safety and preventing injuries in communities across the state,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “USDOT is committed to ensuring that all communities, regardless of their size or location, have access to safe and reliable infrastructure.”  

The rural two-lane network in Oklahoma accounted for approximately 65 percent of all serious and fatal crashes in the State, primarily due to the lack of shoulders. The Rural Two-Lane Advancement and Management Plan (RAAMP) Phases 3, 4, and 5 projects will improve 53 miles of rural roads by adding eight-foot shoulders, rehabilitating and resurfacing 59 miles of roads and structures, and replacing three bridges and four concrete bridge boxes.  

Oklahoma is taking advantage of the Bureau’s Rural Project Initiative, which offers rural borrowers loans of up to 49 percent of eligible project costs (vs. the customary 33 percent), as well as locking in a low interest rate at half the Treasury rate. ODOT has now secured five loans total for RAAMP. The three most recent projects total more than $244 million, and the loans are up to $45.2 million for RAAMP 3, $39.2 million for RAAMP 4, and $29.4 million for RAAMP 5.  

“Oklahoma’s innovative approach to expedite delivery of safety improvements for rural roads years ahead of the initial schedule not only saves tax-payers tens of millions of dollars, but it also saves lives, which are priceless,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “Other communities can benefit from this approach as well. No one should get hurt when we have innovative funding and financing options available to deploy safety improvements faster and cheaper, and the Bureau is committed to mobilizing all its resources to make this happen.” 

The use of TIFIA loans in Oklahoma results in significant cost savings and safety benefits through accelerated project delivery. An independent analysis conducted by the Build America Center at the University of Maryland reveals that the shoulder improvement program through these three contracts and the TIFIA financing accelerates project delivery by six years, resulting in $37.8 million in construction cost savings. The projects will save lives, amounting to an estimated $38.7 million in safety benefits, along with environmental improvements and maintenance cost reductions. 

“The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is thankful for Rural TIFIA loans that provide additional financial means to complete roadway safety improvements years sooner than if funding were secured through other means, while also helping limit the effects of inflation,” said Oklahoma Director of Transportation Tim Gatz. “The RAAMP program is vital because updating rural highways with safety devices adds up to life-saving benefits for the traveling public.” 

### 

The Build America Bureau advances investment in transportation infrastructure by lending Federal funds to qualified borrowers; clearing roadblocks for credit worthy projects; providing technical assistance and encouraging best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operations. The Bureau draws on expertise across DOT to serve as the point of coordination for states, municipalities, private partners, and other project sponsors seeking Federal financing. To date, DOT has provided more than $52.3 billion in financing through TIFIA and RRIF, supporting more than $143 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.  

Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-department-transportation-announces-114-million-federal-loans-benefit-rural

- Part of VUGA Media Group -digital marketing best company

Latest article