I-66 Express Mobility Partners LLC (EMP) today announced the financial close for the Transform I-66 Outside the Beltway project. The project is a public-private partnership (P3) between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and EMP and is designed to relieve traffic congestion, improve safety and increase efficiency along 22.5 miles of the I-66 corridor from I-495 to Gainesville, Virginia. It is the largest public-private infrastructure partnership in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The project is being funded through a combination of a TIFIA loan ($1.229 billion), Private Activity Bonds ($737 million) and Equity contributions from the sponsors ($1.523 billion). Bond purchase demand for the project was strong with an oversubscription that exceeded 4.9 times availability.
Under a Comprehensive Agreement entered into with the Commonwealth of Virginia in December 2016, EMP will finance, design, build, operate and maintain the new facility (I-66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway). Once completed, the new highway will feature two express lanes and three general purpose lanes per direction, several reconstructed interchanges, park and ride facilities with 4,000 new parking spaces, new transit options, and a shared use facility for pedestrians and cyclists. Construction is expected to commence by the end of 2017 with completion of the project expected in 2022.
Throughout the term of the Comprehensive Agreement, EMP will also provide funding for transit operations and other corridor improvements. In total, EMP will deliver more than $3.5 billion in transportation improvements to Northern Virginia.
"Now that funding is in place, our focus is on securing design approvals and beginning construction on this transformational project. We have been working closely with our partners at VDOT, our design-build contractor FAM Construction and local communities to ensure that we deliver a dramatically improved travel experience on a safer, more efficient I-66." stated Javier Gutiérrez, chief executive officer of I-66 Express Mobility Partners. "The dialogue we have had with citizens and stakeholders on this project has resulted in a design that reflects thoughtful community input "
VDOT and EMP have conducted extensive outreach to communities and stakeholders throughout the I-66 corridor in 2017, including more than 50 briefings for community groups and advocacy organizations, local governments, park authorities and elected officials.
Three Design Public Hearings are being held next week on November 13, 14 and 16, where the public will have the opportunity to comment on the design plans for the project.
EMP and VDOT intend to keep the public informed of construction related impacts to local traffic patterns the five year construction period, through the website transform66.org, social media, a mobile app, television, radio and print media.
ABOUT I-66 EXPRESS MOBILITY PARTNERS
I-66 Express Mobility Partners LLC is a consortium comprised of Cintra, Meridiam, John Laing Group Plc. and APG. The design-build contractor is FAM Construction, LLC, a partnership between Ferrovial Agroman US and Allan Myers, VA.
More information on the project and times and locations of the project's Design Public Hearings can be found at Transform66.org.