The loan proceeds will finance part of the construction costs of the project, which is being built in a 16-mile corridor in northwest Orange County on I-405 between State Route 73 and Interstate 605. The project will add one new general-purpose lane and one new toll lane in each direction in the 16-mile corridor. The new tolled express lanes will combine with the existing high occupancy vehicle lane to create two express lanes in each direction.
The project aims to improve operations of one of the most congested freeways in the country and is expected to generate about 26,000 jobs. It will also create more reliable and timely access to job centers, schools, and to essential services for residents of this region. Its design also incorporates climate resilience elements, especially against flooding and earthquake risks, as well as pedestrian and bike-friendly elements.
The TIFIA loan will replace the current loan that the bureau provided to OCTA for the project in July 2017. The new loan, at a lower interest rate, will generate approximately $258 million in nominal financing costs savings for OCTA over the life of the loan, providing relief from COVID-19 which affected OCTA’s revenues, and helping OCTA continue to deliver its capital improvement plan.
Project construction is already underway. OCTA expects to open the project to the public by October 2023.