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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $325 Million Loan for Southern California’s Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Anthony Foxx, Interstate Highway System

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $325 Million Loan for Southern California’s Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement

Federal Highway Administration
21 May 2014

FHWA 10-14
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for $325 million to help pay for the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, Calif. A critical connector for the Port of Long Beach commerce and trade, the bridge is highly congested and in dire structural condition.

“It’s projects like the Gerald Desmond Bridge that demonstrate why the country needs a long-term transportation reauthorization bill, which would give states the confidence to move forward with much needed infrastructure repairs,” said Secretary Foxx. “Our proposed legislation will help ensure that we are able to maintain America’s highway assets, create jobs, and continue to grow the nation’s economy.”

The Obama Administration recently unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision for an aging transportation network and a growing population. Of this amount $199.2 billion goes toward highways and bridges, including the President’s “Fix-it-First” initiative which focuses on existing highway needs and on reducing the number of bridges in need of repair.

The aging Gerald Desmond Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1968, has been deteriorating from various safety and design challenges, including seismic deficiencies and a low vertical clearance. The new bridge will improve safety by offering six travel lanes, new emergency lanes and shoulders, and a higher clearance to accommodate modern, large cargo containers.

“This project will improve the reliability of freight movement,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “It will relieve congestion and make it easier to access one of the nation’s most thriving ports.”

Located at the south end of I-710, the bridge is the main link to the Port of Long Beach. International trade and regional commuter traffic, accounting for 68,000 vehicles a day, exceeds the 46-year-old bridge’s capacity. The Port, with substantial cargo-handling facilities located at the southern end of I-710 in Los Angeles County, is the second-busiest container port in North America.

The $325 million TIFIA loan and an additional $675 million in other federal funds will go toward the replacement project’s $1.28 billion total cost.

The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 45 projects turn more than $17 billion in assistance from the Federal Highway Administration into nearly $64 billion in infrastructure investments nationwide.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) transformed TIFIA into one of the largest transportation infrastructure loan programs in history, creating a new source of credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects. The GROW AMERICA Act continues the robust program and also makes it easier for certain applicants to access the program.

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