The Point: RCTC’s I-15 Express Lanes have received necessary loan ratings to move forward with financing and construction.

The I-15 Express Lanes Project adds tolled express lanes to the median of Interstate 15 (I-15) between State Route 60 (SR-60) and Cajalco Road, providing a time-saving alternative to congestion on one of Riverside County’s most heavily-traveled corridors.

A loan from the federal government under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) will provide low-interest financing to construct the project.  Tolls paid by customers of the new lanes will repay the loan and pay for maintenance and daily operation of the lanes for 50 years. 

RCTC I-15 Express Lanes Project Map

In order to receive the TIFIA loan from the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT), RCTC must demonstrate a creditworthy plan of finance for the I-15 Express Lanes, much like a home-buyer must receive an approval before securing a mortgage.

In an affirmation of RCTC’s responsible stewardship and creditworthiness of the I-15 Express Lanes, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) has assigned a BBB rating to RCTC’s loan.  This represents the second investment grade rating assigned to the TIFIA loan, as Fitch Ratings has assigned a BBB- rating. 

RCTC I-15 Project Proposed Expansion Graphics

These ratings demonstrate continued momentum in the approval actions needed within US DOT on behalf of the I-15 Express Lanes Project.  After several months of diligent negotiation and collaboration with the federal government, RCTC is awaiting final approval of the TIFIA loan application within the next few weeks from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

To stay connected to the I-15 Express Lanes Project, please visit the official project website and Facebook page, as well as future articles here at The Point!