DOT loans $950 million to Florida highway project

us-192_eb_at_i-004_02The federal government has decided to loan $950 million to Florida for use on a project to expand the state’s heavily-used Interstate 4 highway way in the Orlando area. Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) is backing the loan which will ultimately be used to widen 21 miles of Interstate 4 and add four express lanes to the highway.

The Department of Transportation says the $950 million is the largest loan that has ever been given under the program to a public-private partnership.

“We’ve been able to move this project from the financing drawing board to breaking ground in near record time because of the Department’s early involvement,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

DOT officials say the Florida loan is the 13th TIFIA award issued this year. Thus far this year TIFIA has helped finance $7.4 billion in transportation projects.

Florida is lucky to have received such a large loan. Most states have put off highway and bridge infrastructure projects until there is a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund.