First, a point of emphasis: the America Fast Forward program to expand federal funding to speed up the construction of transportation projects is very much a work-in-progress.
Congress adopted part of America Fast Forward last year — an expanded federal loan program called TIFIA that backs loans with the big wallet of the federal government and helps secure low interest rates. To put it another way, Low Interest Rates = Lower Project Costs.
The super-size version of TIFIA is so far drawing some pretty good reviews. The Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation sung America Fast Forward's praises last week, saying it's one of the top programs of 2012 and poised to make a mark in the years ahead. “This metro-led reform signals a new bottom-up federalist approach that could be replicated to other economy-building efforts,” wrote the Project on its website (It's also on CNN's opinion pages).
It's fair to say other regions are certainly trying to benefit from the expanded TIFIA program. Check out this list of applicants for TIFIA loans below on the Federal Highway Administration's website (the agency that administers the program) — looks like a lot of big asks from Red and Blue states alike.
As I wrote above, America Fast Forward is not yet a complete program. While Congress expanded the TIFIA loan part of AFF last year, Metro is also advocating for an expanded federal bond program (called QTIB) that would supply more funds for transportation projects. More about that in this recent post.
FY 2013 MAP-21 TIFIA Letters of InterestSubmitted through January 17, 2013(Amounts in Millions of Dollars)
|Potential Applicant||Project Name||Date Received||Estimated Project Cost||Type of Instrument|
|Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority||183 S||Aug-12||$896||Direct Loan|
|Virginia Dept. of Transportation||Route 460||Aug-12||$1,724||Direct Loan|
|North Carolina Dept. of Transportation||I-77 HOT Lanes||Aug-12||$545||Direct Loan|
|Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority||Knik Arm Crossing||Aug-12||$1,022||Direct Loan|
|Texas Dept. of Transportation||SH 288||Aug-12||$272||Direct Loan|
|Texas Dept. of Transportation||SH 183||Aug-12||$876||Direct Loan|
|Texas Dept. of Transportation||Grand Parkway (SH 99)||Aug-12||$2,648||Direct Loan and Line of Credit|
|Texas Dept. of Transportation||IH 35 E||Aug-12||$1,415||Direct Loan|
|North Carolina Dept. of Transportation||Mid-Currituck Bridge||Aug-12||$611||Direct Loan|
|New York State Thruway Authority||Tappan Zee Bridge||Sep-12||$5,900||Direct Loan|
|Chicago Dept. of Aviation||CDA ConRac ATS||Sep-12||$765||Direct Loan|
|Georgia Dept. of Transportation||Northwest Corridor||Sep-12||$960||Direct Loan|
|Chicago Dept. of Transportation||Riverwalk||Sep-12||$440||Direct Loan or Loan Guarantee|
|Indiana Finance Authority||East End Crossing (OH River Bridges)||Sep-12||$1,276||Direct Loan|
|Kentucky Public Trans. Infra. Authority||Downtown Crossing (OH River Bridges)||Sep-12||$1,227||Direct Loan|
|City of Kansas City, MO||Kansas City Streetcars||Sep-12||$102||Direct Loan|
|City of New Orleans||Treme Iberville Project||Sep-12||$157||Direct Loan|
|Louisiana Dept. of Transportation||I-49 North||Oct-12||$631||Direct Loan|
|Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority||Dulles Metrorail||Oct-12||$5,999||Direct Loan|
|Louisiana Dept. of Transportation||LA 1 Toll Road||Oct-12||$371||Direct Loan|
|Southeastern Tours Inc.||Southeastern Tour Buses||Oct-12||$1||Direct Loan|
|Ohio Dept. of Transportation||Portsmouth Bypass||Nov-12||$819||Direct Loan|
|Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority||South Padre Island||Nov-12||$694||Direct Loan|
|LA Metro||Westside Subway and Regional Connector||Nov-12||$3,908||Direct Loan|
|Sound Transit||East Link||Dec-12||$4,038||Direct Loan|
|Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission||Southern Beltway||Dec-12||$651||Direct Loan|
|Delaware Dept. of Transportation||US 301||Jan-13||$513||Direct Loan|
|Florida Dept. of Transportation||I-4 Ultimate Improvements||Jan-13||$2,746||Direct Loan|