Bay Bridge receives $450 million DOT loan

| Thursday, December 06, 2001

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta announced Dec. 4 that the Department's Federal Highway Administration will provide a $450 million loan to the California Department of Transportation to complete the state's funding package for the $3.3 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge seismic retrofit project. A seismic toll surcharge on seven bridges in the Bay Area will be added to help pay off the loan.

"Through TIFIA [Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998], we are providing innovative financing for transportation projects that might otherwise not have received financing and moved forward," Mineta said. "This particular loan will help to advance the bridge project, which is vital to the safety and the mobility of residents and visitors in the Bay Area."

The project will include the replacement of the east span and the seismic retrofit of the 8.5-mile San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The existing bridge is 60 years old and carries about 272,000 vehicles a day. Damage to the bridge during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake forced the closure of the east span for four weeks. Subsequent investigation showed the east span probably would not withstand a significant earthquake. The project completion date is 2007.

The Bay Bridge loan is estimated to cost the federal government $1.3 million. Therefore, every TIFIA dollar spent will contribute to more than $2,500 in capital investment. As the final part in the funding package, the TIFIA loan will combine with capital market debt, state contributions and the state's federal-aid highway funds to complete the financing of the $3.3 billion project.

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