The TIFIA Times returns to highlight recent achievements as the TIFIA Joint Program Office (JPO) concludes its first year. Welcome to the third issue of our e-mail newsletter concerning the US Department of Transportation's credit program for large-scale surface transportation projects.
We encourage you to share this newsletter with your associates throughout the transportation finance community.
As lower Manhattan looks to rebuild after the September 11 terrorist attacks, USDOT and the City of New York executed a $159 million TIFIA loan on December 19 to help finance the refurbishment of the Staten Island ferry system, a major commuter link and world-renowned tourist attraction that transports more than 60,000 passengers daily. This $463 million project will rebuild Manhattan's Whitehall Terminal, Staten Island's St. George Terminal, and replace three 1960s-era ferryboats. Extensive renovation of bus and subway connections at Whitehall will improve passenger transfers, while St. George will serve as the hub of a Staten Island redevelopment. The new vessels will carry 25 percent more riders at reduced pollution levels. The TIFIA loan will be secured by Tobacco Settlement Revenues (TSRs) under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between participating tobacco manufacturers and 52 US states and jurisdictions. Completion is scheduled for 2004.
As announced on December 4 by DOT Secretary Norman Mineta, TIFIA will loan up to $450 million to the California Department of Transportation to complete the financing of the $3.3 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) Seismic Retrofit. The need to replace the 65-year-old bridge's east span and improve its west span became apparent following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which closed the bridge for four weeks. The bridge currently carries about 280,000 vehicles daily. The TIFIA loan will be repaid via a $1.00 vehicle toll surcharge on all seven existing Bay Area bridge crossings. Completion of the project, the first to apply under the rolling admissions process announced last May, is scheduled for 2006.
Among the highlights of the year, the USDOT and the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) executed on July 11 a $215 million loan for the $650 million Replacement of the Cooper River Bridges. The South Carolina DOT will manage construction of a landmark highway bridge to replace the existing two structures that connect the cities of Charleston and Mount Pleasant. The TIFIA loan will be repaid via a combination of state appropriations and county tourism fees, as the bridge will not include a vehicle toll. Project completion is scheduled for 2006. For more project information, visit the SCDOT website at: http://www.dot.state.sc.us.
Among the lowlights of the year, Bryan Grote, the original chief of the TIFIA JPO, left the federal government as of August 24. A tireless worker who sojourned at many alphabet soup organizations (OMB, CBO, GAO, FAA, FHWA) throughout a decade, Bryan helped shepherd TIFIA from concept through legislation to implementation. He will be missed. In fact, he's already been missed.
With a November 21 publication of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), the USDOT has formally announced that it will make available up to $2.4 billion in credit assistance for new TIFIA projects during Federal Fiscal Year 2002. The NOFA, as published in the Federal Register (66 FR, 58549), can be viewed at the website of the National Archives and Records Administration: http://www.archives.gov/. You can also link to the NOFA through the TIFIA website and review the current program guide and application along with other background information.
The mailing address for the TIFIA Credit Program is:
Federal Highway Administration (HABF-50)
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
Please e-mail your comments or inquiries regarding this newsletter or the TIFIA program to: Duane.Callender@fhwa.dot.gov.
TIFIA Credit Program
US Dept. of Transportation