On September 26, 2000, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Rodney Slater announced the selection of three projects (Cooper River Bridge in South Carolina, Staten Island Ferries and Terminals in New York, and Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington) to receive Federal credit assistance under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). These projects were selected from a pool of six applic. On November 22, 2000, two additional projects were selected to receive TIFIA assistance: Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (Nevada) and Central Texas Turnpike Project (Texas). These projects were selected from a pool of four applic. As regular IFQ readers know, TIFIA - which was enacted as part of the landmark Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) - authorizes the U.S. DOT to provide direct loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit to eligible public and private sponsors of major surface transportation projects.
The five projects selected in FY 2000 and the early part of FY 2001 represent a $5.4 billion investment. To facilitate the financing of this investment, the U.S. DOT will provide $1.52 billion in credit assistance - an amount equal to roughly 28 percent of total project costs - to the five projects at an estimated subsidy (budgetary) cost of $132.3 million to the Federal government, as shown in the table below. As noted in the Summer/Fall 1999 edition of IFQ, five projects with a combined project cost of $6.5 billion were selected to receive $1.62 billion in TIFIA assistance in the FY 1999 application cycle: Miami Intermodal Center in Florida, SR 125 Toll Road in California, Farley-Penn Station in New York, Washington (DC) Metro Capital Improvement Program, and the Tren Urbano transit project in Puerto Rico. The estimated subsidy cost for that initial round of selections is $62 million.
Following are descriptions of the five most recently selected projects.
The 2.5-mile bridge structure is designed to replace two existing, structurally deficient bridges connecting Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The bridge crossing (U.S. 17) serves as a vital link in the regional roadway network that provides access to major employment centers in North Charleston, commercial and industrial port facilities, Federal defense facilities, the nationally recognized historic district on the peninsula, and the residential and recreational area east of Cooper River. The project will enhance national and international shipping accessibility to the Port of Charleston, the second largest container cargo port on the East Coast. The South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) is sponsoring the project, estimated to cost up to $650 million. The project has been approved to receive a $215 million direct loan under TIFIA. The SCTIB proposes to repay the TIFIA loan primarily with revenue from truck registration fees and repayments of SCTIB loans.
The $463 million project will enable New York City, acting through its agencies, to acquire new passenger ferries for the route connecting Staten Island and Manhattan and to rebuild the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan and the St. George Terminal in Staten Island. The Staten Island Ferries provide service between Staten Island and Manhattan for 60,000 daily commuters, linking Staten Island with the New York transit system. The U.S. DOT will provide a direct TIFIA loan to the project in the amount of $152.8 million. The loan will be secured by revenues from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998.
To alleviate congestion on State Route 16 (SR 16) and improve the safety and reliability of the existing Tacoma Narrows Bridge, this project will improve a 3.4-mile segment of SR 16 between the cities of Tacoma and Gig Harbor, reconfigure and seismically upgrade the existing bridge, and construct a new suspension bridge parallel to the existing Tacoma Narrows Bridge. United Infrastructure Washington, a subsidiary of Bechtel Enterprises, has contracted with the Washington State DOT to finance, develop, and operate the new bridge. To finance the project, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Nonprofit Corporation will borrow the TIFIA funds and issue tax-exempt bonds. Project costs are currently estimated at $835 million. TIFIA assistance will be in the form of a $240 million direct loan and a $30 million line of credit available during the first 10 years of project operation. Project debt will be repaid with bridge tolls, estimated at $3.00 per round trip.
This $3.220 billion project will allow for the construction of a new 122-mile contiguous turnpike facility in the Austin-San Antonio corridor, which consists of four distinct but interconnected elements (SH 45, Loop 1, U.S. 183A, and SH 130). The four elements will be constructed as a six-lane controlled access highway with electronic toll collection, deploying the first regionally interoperable electronic toll collection facilities in the state. The largest component, SH 130, will be 90 miles in length, parallel to Interstate 35. The project serves a vital function in meeting the state's transportation needs, relieving congestion, improving safety, and enhancing national commerce and international trade. The project sponsor, Texas DOT's Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA), will receive TIFIA assistance in the form of a direct loan for $800 million. Project debt will be repaid with toll revenues.
This 2.25-mile transportation corridor will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion in downtown Reno, while also enhancing a vital rail freight corridor. It involves construction of a below-grade transportation corridor with two mainline tracks, an access road adjacent to and on the south side of the tracks within this corridor, replacement of 10 at-grade crossings with bridges, and construction of one new bridge. The estimated project cost is $242 million. The project's sponsor, the City of Reno, plans to finance two-thirds of the project through a bond issue backed with hotel tax and sales tax revenue. For the remainder, the city will receive a $79.5 million direct loan from the TIFIA program. The loan is backed by a senior lien on lease and sale income from railroad-donated property and a special district assessment, as well as a junior lien on the hotel taxes and sales taxes pledged to the senior financing.
As with all TIFIA selections, the credit awards described above are subject to successful negotiation and ratification of term sheets and credit agreements between the project sponsors and the U.S. DOT.
TIFIA continues to play an important role in leveraging Federal resources and stimulating capital investment. The 10 projects approved for TIFIA assistance since 1999 are valued at a combined total cost of nearly $12 billion. TIFIA will provide over $3.1 billion in credit assistance for these projects at an estimated budgetary cost of $194 million. Thus, based on preliminary subsidy estimates, each TIFIA dollar invested in these projects is expected to support approximately $62 in capital investment, as shown to the right.
An additional $6.8 billion in TIFIA credit assistance remains available for award between FY 2001 and FY 2003. Future issues of IFQ will provide details on upcoming TIFIA solicitation schedules, including guidance on applying for TIFIA assistance.
|Project|| Estimated Project Cost
| TIFIA Credit Request
|Type of Instrument|
|FY 2000 Cycle|
|Cooper River Bridge (SC)||$650||$215||$5.6||Direct loan|
|Staten Island Ferries and Terminals (NY)||463||153||7.4||Direct loan|
|Tacoma Narrows Bridge (WA)||835||240
Line of Credit
|FY 2001-A Cycle|
|Central Texas Turnpike (TX)||3,200||800||88.9||Direct loan|
|Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (NV)||242||80||5.9||Direct loan|
Contact: Bryan Grote, TIFIA Joint Program Office, 202/366-9656, or Mark Sullivan, TIFIA Joint Program Office, 202/366-5785
For the latest information on TIFIA, access the U.S. DOT's TIFIA web site.
The TIFIA web site is a resource for financial planners and project sponsors interested in learning more about the U.S. DOT's Federal credit program. The web site is home to TIFIA legislation and Regulations, the TIFIA program guide and application form, various public notices, credit risk assessment information, overviews of all TIFIA projects selected to date, and additional background reference material. The U.S. DOT is in the process of updating the web site, so keep an eye out for new postings.
The "TIFIA Trivia" box provides the U.S. DOT Credit Working Group's responses to questions posed by our readers and other observers. We hope you find this "TIFIA Trivia" section useful and that you will submit questions to either of the IFQ co-managing editors (Max Inman or Suzanne Sale, FHWA, at 202/366-0673).
The amount of Federal credit assistance that the U.S. DOT may provide to a project under TIFIA is limited to not more than 33 percent of eligible project costs. Are project sponsors permitted to fund the non-TIFIA share of project costs (at least 67 percent) with Federal grant assistance? May project sponsors use Federal funds to repay TIFIA loans?
Project sponsors may use Federal grant assistance to help fund the non-TIFIA portion of project costs. However, as noted in the Summer 2000 issue of IFQ and a variety of other TIFIA program materials, projects are selected by the U.S. DOT based, in part, on the extent to which TIFIA credit support can reduce reliance on other forms of Federal assistance for the project. Thus, heavy reliance on Federal grant funding can hinder the ability of a project to compete for TIFIA credit assistance.
Under the Federal Credit Reform Act, credit borrowers cannot pledge Federal funds to repay credit assistance. Further, the TIFIA statute states that project financing "shall be repayable, in whole or in part, from tolls, user fees or other dedicated revenue sources." TIFIA also states that the sources of repayment funds for TIFIA credit instruments may include "tolls, user fees and other dedicated revenue sources." The U.S. DOT interprets "dedicated revenue sources" to include such levies as tolls, user fees, special assessments, tax increment financing, and any portion of a tax or fee that produces revenues that are pledged for the purpose of retiring debt on the given project. The Secretary may accept general Obligation pledges or corporate promissory pledges and will determine the acceptability of other pledges or other forms of collateral as dedicated revenue sources on a case-by-base basis. Without exception, the Secretary may not accept a pledge of Federal funds, regardless of source, as security for the TIFIA credit instrument.
Across the country, Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs) continue to gain momentum as a tool to accelerate construction of needed surface transportation improvements. The table below summarizes GARVEE bonds that have been issued to date. The table includes only direct GARVEEs which have their debt service paid directly from the Federal funds programmed for the project or projects constructed with bond proceeds. As shown on the table, nearly $1 billion in GARVEE bonds have been issued by five states. It is anticipated that this amount will double over the next few years, based on state bond issues in the pipeline.
To assist states in using the GARVEE mechanism, on August 18, 2000, FHWA released guidelines on the use of Federal-aid funding to repay GARVEE bonds. A wide array of bond-related costs were made eligible for Federal reimbursement as part of the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 (NHS Act), including principal and interest payments, issuance costs, insurance, and other bond financing costs. GARVEE bond projects can take advantage of these NHS Act provisions, by using future Federal-aid highway funds to retire debt.
GARVEE projects are generally administered in the same manner and are subject to the same requirements as other Title 23 projects. However, while traditional Title 23 projects are reimbursed as construction costs are incurred, the reimbursement of GARVEE bond projects is based on debt service costs and usually occurs at the time of debt service payments. The new guidelines clarify a number of procedural issues, and reiterate that GARVEEs are not backed by a Federal guarantee.
The GARVEE bond guidelines are available on FHWA's innovative finance home page at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/finance/resources/federal_debt/garvee_bond_guidance.aspx.
|State||Date of Issue|| Face Amount of Issue
Moody's/ S&P /Fitch
|New Mexico||Sep 1998||$100.2||A3/A-/na||New Mexico State Route 44||No backstop; Bond Insurance obtained|
|Aa3/AA-/AA-||Spring-Sandusky||Moral Obligation pledge to use state gas tax fund Appropriations in the event of Federal shortfall|
|Arkansas||Mar 2000||$175.0||Aa2/AA/na||Interstate Highways||Full faith and credit of state, plus state motor fuel taxes|
|Colorado||May 2000||$537.0||Aa3/AA/AA||Any project financed whole or in part by Federal funds||Federal highway funds as allocated annually by CDOT; Other state funds|
|Arizona||Jun 2000||$39.4||Aa3/AA-/AA-||Acceleration of freeway projects/
Federally Eligible Projects
|Highway Funds (Indirectly available)|
Beginning with this issue, IFQ will respond to questions about the GARVEE bond financing mechanism. Questions for this quarter focus on the non-Federal share as it relates to GARVEEs. Note that the answers to these questions are not intended to be regulatory or legislative, but represent FHWA's current administrative interpret. If you have additional questions or need clarification on any of the responses, please contact your local FHWA Division office, or any one of the GARVEE contacts listed below.
How is the matching ratio set for GARVEEs?
The maximum Federal share of the cost of a bond issue project approved under Section 122 is the share as defined under Section 120 of Title 23. This constitutes the legal pro rata share in effect at the time of execution of the project agreement. For any bond issue, the Federal share eligible for reimbursement depends on the amount of bond proceeds applied to approved Federal-aid projects, including payment of soft costs, such as capitalized interest, issuance expenses, and credit enhancement fees. In situ where 100 percent of project costs are debt financed through one bond issue, the bond-related reimbursements may be measured on a nominal, current-year basis (e.g., 80 percent of each debt service payment will be payable from Federal-aid and 20 percent from state match.) This will simplify both State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) planning and the calculation of reimbursement amounts and shares. However, this may not always be the case. The Federal and non-Federal share may be financed separately. For example, the Federal share may be debt financed, while the state share is funded on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Could tapering be used in conjunction with GARVEEs?
Tapered match (allowing the Federal share to vary over the life of the project, as long as it is ultimately the Appropriate ratio) is not permitted on debt-related reimbursements.
Can I match GARVEEs with non-cash matches, such as private don?
Yes, non-cash matches can be used as the non-Federal share of a GARVEE project.
Can I match GARVEEs with toll credits?
Yes, toll credits authorized by Section 129 of Title 23, U.S.C. can be used as the non-Federal share of a GARVEE project.
Can interest earned on bond proceeds serve as match?
Yes, interest earned on bond proceeds is considered eligible as non-Federal match.
FHWA Western Resource Center
As of October 2000, 32 states have entered into 172 loan agreements with a dollar value of nearly $2.3 billion (see table to right). The South Carolina State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) accounts for almost 65 percent of SIB loans nationwide, based on dollar value. South Carolina and other states including Michigan, Oregon, and Wyoming have seen increased SIB activity over the last few months, resulting in $1.5 billion of new loan agreements since August 2000.
This issue of IFQ describes the ongoing vital role that SIBs can play in supporting the implementation of transportation projects nationwide. The article below spotlights the success of South Carolina's SIB in accelerating the construction of critical road and bridge projects. In addition, an update is provided on the FHWA's SIB Best Practices review.
Contact: Phyllis Jones, FHWA, 202/366-2854.
Using an array of innovative financing concepts, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is accomplishing 27 years of road and bridge projects in just seven years. By putting aside conventional ways of doing business, the SCDOT has launched an unprecedented $5 billion worth of highway construction. The cornerstone of SCDOT's accelerated program is the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SIB), created in 1997 by the General Assembly to assist in financing major projects. Since its inception, the SIB has approved and begun development of nearly $2.4 billion in projects. The SIB is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors with administrative, financial, engineering, and other services provided by the SCDOT staff.
South Carolina was one of the first 10 states selected to participate in the SIB Pilot Program established under the NHS Act of 1995. The South Carolina bank is unique among SIBs in several ways. First, it is the only SIB that has been capitalized almost wholly with state funds. Only $2.7 million of Federal funds have been used to date to finance the bank. Second, it is the only SIB that is currently leveraging its capital through bonding. Another distinctive feature of the SIB is its authority to provide grants as well as loans for project financing. However, the SIB has required localities to provide a local contribution which extends the capacity of the bank.
Only major projects, those exceeding $100 million in cost, are eligible for assistance through the SIB. Applic for project funding are evaluated based on several criteria, including public benefits, financial plan, and project approach. Applic for the SIB's first round of funding were submitted in December 1997.
Sources of revenue for the SIB include the initial Federal capitalization monies and $66 million from the State General Fund in FY 1996-1997 as a one-time source of capitalization. State recurring sources include a share of a one-cent-per-gallon gas tax (approximately $22 million annually) and truck registration fees (approximately $53 million annually). Other sources include contributions from the applicants who have received funding in the form of loan repayments and additional contributions from SCDOT.
The South Carolina SIB is leveraging its revenue sources with revenue bonds. To date, the SIB has issued over $850 million in revenue bonds to provide funds for approved SIB projects. The SIB has consistently received A and A1 ratings by Fitch IBCA, Inc. and Moody's Investors Service, Inc., respectively. In order to meet its financial commitments, the SIB expects to issue another $700 million in a mixture of general Obligation and revenue bonds over the next several years. In addition, in September 2000, the SIB was approved for a TIFIA loan for the replacement of the Cooper River Bridges in Charleston.
Since its inception, the SIB has approved financing and begun development of $2.4 billion in projects for six applicants. Of the total project amount, the SIB is contributing 45 percent, the applicants are providing 45 percent of the project cost, and SCDOT is contributing 10 percent. Currently, agreements are in place for four of the six projects and construction work is underway on those four projects.
The table to the left provides a summary of the loans made to date by the South Carolina SIB. The Horry County loans will fund several projects, including the $386.6 million Conway Bypass, a 28.5 mile road to give motorists a more convenient route to popular Myrtle Beach. Other SIB projects include the Carolina Bays Parkway which will intersect the Conway Bypass; the Cooper River Bridge project in Charleston; the Upstate GRID (Greenville region) projects; and a widening project that includes a stretch over the Lake Murray Dam in Lexington County.
|SIB Funds||Local Match||SCDOT
|Horry County (Phase I)||$688||$131||$348||$209|
|Horry County (Phase II)||$200||-||$200||-|
|Beaufort County Plan||$105||$65||$30||$10|
|Cooper River Bridge||$420*||$312||$88||$20|
|Lexington County Plan||$115||$48||$61||$6|
|* Depending on project features, the estimated project cost ranges from $420 million to $650 million.|
In only three years, the South Carolina SIB has played a key role in accelerating major road and bridge projects in several areas of the state, making a reality of projects that were on "wish lists" as long as 30 years ago. The leadership of the Governor, General Assembly, SIB Board, and the cooperation of the SCDOT and State Treasurers Office along with other financial and legal assistance have created a success story recognized nationwide.
Contact: Debra White, South Carolina DOT, 803/737-1243.
FHWA's Federal-Aid Financial Management Division is in the process of concluding a best practices review of the SIB Pilot Program as part of its Quality Financial Management Initiative. On September 19, 2000, a questionnaire requesting information on program development, institutional structure, implementation issues, accounting and reporting practices, and plans for the future was provided to 35 of the 39 state DOTs currently participating in the SIB Pilot Program. Nearly all of the states have completed the questionnaire and submitted their responses to FHWA.
A review team of FHWA headquarters, division offices, resource centers, and Federal Transit Administration staff conducted on-site visits at 10 states. During these visits, the review team interviewed state officials on individual SIB programs, including questions on administrative procedures, financial policies, and plans for further capitalization. In addition to a question and answer session, the review team toured selected projects that have been assisted by SIB funding. The 10 states visited during this review were Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Oregon. Site visits began in September and were completed in December.
The review team is currently working on the draft report and plans to release the final SIB Best Practices report early in 2001. The report will be provided to all state DOTs and should be of value to the transportation community as states explore opportunities for further maximizing the benefits of the SIB financing mechanism.
Contact: Phyllis Jones, FHWA, 202/366-2854, or Ian Carroll, FHWA Western Resource Center, 415/744-2650.
State Infrastructure Bank Loan Agreements by State
As of October 2000
|State||Number of Agreements||Loan Agreement Amount ($000)||Disbursements
On October 6, 2000, the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) broke ground on construction of the Route 3 North Project, the first design-build-finance highway construction project in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Route 3 North is an existing 21-mile limited access highway running north and south between the Route I-95/128 circumferential highway around Boston and the New Hampshire border. The $385 million project is designed to alleviate a number of significant transportation problems on this heavily utilized highway through the phased construction over 42 months of several major improvements, including the addition of a travel lane in each direction, the addition of a median shoulder and a 30-foot clear zone, improvements to 13 interchanges, and the replacement of 40 bridges.
This new project delivery approach was authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature in August 1999 through a bill that enabled the creation of a public-private partnership to finance, design, build, operate, and maintain the Route 3 North Project. Through a competitive process, the MassHighway selected Modern Continental as the developer to finance, design, and build the project and then operate and maintain the facility for 30 years upon its completion.
The project encompasses a number of innovative features:
The combination of innovative contracting and financing approaches implemented for the Route 3 North Project will generate significant benefits, producing measurable economic advantages, cutting the project delivery time line in half, and saving dollars. Specifically, the design-build methodology will minimize project costs by introducing construction process efficiencies, and the guaranteed price will offset inflationary increases associated with phased development. From an economic perspective, the favorable financing terms and costs and the ancillary revenue potential further demonstrate the value of Massachusetts' innovative approach to project delivery.
Contact: John McDonnell, Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Construction, 617/973-7584.
I n April 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and FHWA's Wisconsin Division conducted a survey of state transportation agencies to determine state policies for budgeting for cash needs on highway construction and rehabilitation projects. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia responded to the survey.
Survey respondents were asked to identify which of two types of financing policies - cash flow basis and Obligation basis - they typically use.
Most survey respondents indicated that highway construction and rehabilitation projects are funded on a cash flow basis. Among the 33 respondents:
Effective cash flow budgeting requires the use of Appropriate cash flow modeling techniques. Many states use computer models and projection methodologies to predict the future cash flow. Several states complete a cash flow analysis for each individual project prior to its authorization.
Cash flow management of resources can help states begin more projects earlier, expedite construction, and better manage capital for larger projects. However, this approach should be supported by the Appropriate tools and techniques to ensure accurate and reliable forecasting.
For more information contact Jim Hoelzel, Wisconsin DOT, 608/261-8628, or Joe Stertz, FHWA, 608/829-7525.
Progress continues on the National Cooperative Highway Research Program's (NCHRP's) Innovative Financing Clearinghouse project (a more comprehensive overview of the Clearinghouse can be found in the Summer 2000 issue of IFQ). The Clearinghouse will provide a web-based, one-stop resource providing a wide range of on-line information on innovative surface transportation finance techniques, programs, practices, and current developments. Working under the direction of the NCHRP Project Panel - which includes Federal, state, and local representation - Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) has established the general structure of the web site. The PB project team is currently refining the content and features to be provided based on a survey completed by transportation stakeholders. PB is also completing the "back-end" programming necessary to make the Clearinghouse functional, and is assembling and organizing content.
The Clearinghouse will go live in the spring of 2001. The launch of the Clearinghouse will be accompanied by an extensive outreach effort, and users will be invited to send in suggestions on additional services or information that would be helpful to include on the site. NCHRP welcomes any comments or questions in the interim.
Contact: Stephen Lockwood, Parsons Brinckerhoff, 301/816-1848, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Benjamin Perez, Parsons Brinckerhoff, 212/465-5302, email@example.com.
The 2001 National State/Federal Financial Managers' Conference will be held from June 17 to June 21, 2001 at the Seattle Westin, in Seattle, WA. This "Transportation Finance Odyssey - Y1K +1" conference is jointly sponsored by the FHWA and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
The conference will address a wide range of topics, including sessions on:
There will be many opportunities for attendees to share information and experiences over the five-day conference, including breakout sessions on asset management and GASB 34. Transportation officials from Federal, state, and local governments are encouraged to attend.
Contact: Niki L. Pavlicek, Washington State DOT, 360/705-7400.
Contributors to Vol. 6, No. 3 of IFQ include:
Roger Berg, Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Deborah Brown, FHWA, Southern Resource Center
Kim H. Burke and Janet L. Rice, Ernst & Young
Edward J. Corcoran, Foley, Hoag & Eliot, LLP
Max Inman, FHWA
Phyllis Jones, FHWA
Jennifer Mayer and Ian Carroll, FHWA, Western Resource Center
Benjamin G. Perez, Parsons Brinckerhoff Infrastructure Development Company
Miriam Roskin, Roskin Consulting
Suzanne H. Sale, FHWA
Mark Sullivan, FHWA
Debra White, South Carolina Department of Transportation
INNOVATIVE FINANCE QUARTERLY
Suzanne H. Sale, FHWA
Max Inman, FHWA
Laurie L. Hussey, CS Managing Editor
Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
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