US DOT allocates US$1.05B for Virginia's Capital Beltway express lanes and construction of a northern extension; project to extend the 14-mi. long express lanes by 2.5 mi. from Dulles Access Road to George Washington Memorial Parkway

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WASHINGTON, D.C. , March 4, 2022 (press release) –

 U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that the Build America Bureau provided a $1.05 billion low interest loan to Capital Beltway Express, LLC to refinance an existing loan for the Capital Beltway express lanes and construction of a northern extension called the 495 NEXT Project. The Bureau helps communities across the country reduce the costs of infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans, known as TIFIA loans, and other types of financing.

There are currently 14 miles of tolled express lanes (two in each direction) on Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) in Fairfax County, Virginia. The 495 NEXT will extend the express lanes by 2.5 miles from the Dulles Access Road to the George Washington Memorial Parkway near the state line. 

“This multimodal project will ease congestion, keep unwanted traffic out of residential neighborhoods, and connect to future express lanes at the American Legion Bridge, a notorious bottleneck,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “The project also includes long-term annual transit investment from toll revenues and will reconnect communities with pedestrian and bike paths as well as two new overpasses.”  

The managed lanes are adjacent to free general-purpose lanes between the Springfield Interchange and the Dulles Toll Road and are free to HOV-3 and transit travelers. Expected to be complete in December 2025, 495 NEXT will enhance safety and include transit investments and new pedestrian and bicycle paths. 

“This public-private partnership moves more people through the corridor and improves travel time reliability through dynamic tolling,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “The reconstructed corridor will give people more affordable options including carpooling, using transit, driving in the free general purpose lanes and using the express lanes for a toll.”
 
The Bureau was established as a “one-stop-shop” during the Obama Administration to help states and other project sponsors carry out infrastructure projects. The Bureau offers low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance, and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November 2021, expands project eligibility for the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program and extends maturity of the loans, giving borrowers additional flexibility. 

To date, the DOT has closed more than $36.8 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $124.6 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.

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