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USDOT Announces $417M Loan to Improve Traffic Around Raleigh

RALEIGH, NC — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announces that its Build America Bureau has approved a loan for up to $417.2 million for the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) for Phase 2 of the Complete 540 Project around the greater Raleigh area. The project extends the Triangle Expressway 10.8 miles from I-40 to the existing I-540 at I-87/U.S. 64/U.S. 264 in Knightdale. By providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans and other financing, the Bureau helps communities expedite infrastructure projects and reduce project costs.

“This important infrastructure project will provide congestion relief by allowing local north-south travelers options to avoid the busiest segments of 540 in southwest Raleigh,” Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg said. “Completing the route will also ensure the community has an additional evacuation route to help during emergencies, such as hurricanes on the coast.”

The $1.3 billion Phase 2 project will connect to Phase 1’s 17.1-mile project currently under construction. The Phase 2 project includes six interchanges, 24 bridges, and 14 culverts, with construction expected to be completed in 2028. It will improve local mobility by adding five new interchange connections to the local roadway network and a crossing over the Neuse River. It will also enhance safety by providing an additional evacuation route from the coastlines in case of emergencies. The Triangle Expressway extension will mirror the existing Triangle Expressway as a 70 mph, six-lane all-electronic toll facility.

“North Carolina is leveraging financing to advance the 540 project to ease traffic congestion for Raleigh residents and enhance the region's economic vitality,” Executive Director Morteza Farajian said. “With $1.3 billion in TIFIA loans for four projects, NCTA will save money with our long terms and lower-than-market rates.”

This is the fourth TIFIA loan for NCTA, bringing their total to $1.3 billion in loans supporting approximately $4 billion in projects. The previous loans were for the Initial Triangle Express (closed 2009), Monroe Expressway (closed 2017), and Complete 540 Phase 1 (closed 2019 and refinanced in 2021).

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“Phase 2 of Complete 540 will provide vital mobility options for North Carolina,” NCTA Chief Financial Officer David Roy said. “Completion of the project would not be possible without the support of the Bureau and their commitment to reliable transportation solutions across the country. The $417 million TIFIA loan provides tens of millions in savings over the life of the loan and allows construction to begin years ahead of original estimates.”

USDOT has closed $40.2 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting more than $137.4 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.

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