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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 03-10Contact: Nancy Singer
Friday, February 26, 2010Phone: 202-366-0660

Federal Highway Administrator Mendez Breaks Ground on I-595 Express Lanes Project in Broward County
Joins Governor, Other Officials to Kick Off Construction

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined Governor Charlie Crist and other Florida officials to break ground on the I-595 express lanes project, an undertaking that will bring congestion relief to Broward County drivers.

"The I-595 Express is a great example of how states can use innovative financing to help turn significant projects into reality," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "These new lanes will no doubt be welcome news to people who spend too much time in their cars in the Ft. Lauderdale area."

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) provided a $603 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan in March 2009 toward a total cost of $1.8 billion, as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is advancing the project through a public-private partnership.

FDOT will use federal funds and toll revenues to make payments to the private partner under a 35-year agreement to operate and maintain the facility. FDOT will set and collect the tolls.

The loan will help build three reversible lanes in the median along 10.5 miles of I-595 running east-west and linking key interchanges on I-75, I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. In addition, three lanes in each direction - for six lanes total - will be added to the I-595 mainline. The project also includes improved frontage roads, added auxiliary lanes and improved entrance and exit ramps to minimize merge and weaving movements. Construction will be completed in 2014.

"Like many other projects in Florida and across the country, this not only brings jobs to the community, it also helps solve a local transportation issue," Mendez added.

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