The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the Build America Bureau (the Bureau) would provide the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) with up to $1.66 billion in Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) funding.
The direct loans would fund the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) project and would replace the existing 2019 TIFIA HRTAC loan. The funding consists of two TIFIA direct loans to HRTAC for up to $1.16 billion to finance up to 33 percent of the HRBT project, estimated to cost around $4 billion.
That project will create 10 miles of eight-lane road — four general purpose lanes, two new High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes and two drivable shoulders to be used as HOT lanes during certain times of the day. The project includes construction of two new two-lane tunnels, expansion of the existing portal islands and full replacement of the existing trestle bridges at the HRBT.
Another loan of $501 million for the HRTAC Regional Priority Project will replace the existing loan for that project. That project combines several projects in the Hampton Roads, Va. region — all three phases of widening the I-64 Peninsula, Phases I and II of improvements to the I-64/I-264 interchange, widening the southside of I-64 and improvements to the High Rise Bridge.
The DOT estimates replacing the loans will generate an additional $50 million over the course of the loan which the HRTAC can use on other improvements and upgrades in their system.
Officials said the projects will increase mobility in the region, reduce congestion, create jobs, improve safety and provide additional capacity for quick and efficient deployment of military personnel while minimizing the impact to civilian traffic.