In a historic financial turning point, $589 million in private activities bonds were issued for the first time by sponsors of the I-495 Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes Project in Northern Virginia.
Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters explained that this turn of events is not only a historical turning point for funding highway projects, but also for the thousands of frustrated DC area drivers.
Transurban and Fluor Enterprises, two private companies, will finance, operate and maintain the express lanes. Facility revenues will be used to repay the $589 million in private activity bonds as well as a $589 million U.S. DOT direct loan. The public-private partnership will also receive significant resources by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This funding, issued by the non-profit Capital Beltway Funding Corporation, is part of an estimated $1.9 billion finance package to fund the 14 mile project. The congestion-relief plan will add a HOT lane on each side of the Capital Beltway between Georgetown Pike and The Springfield Interchange by 2012. The two existing middle lanes will then become variable-priced HOT lanes depending on traffic volume.