The Point: This major award means project financing is complete and construction can begin on the I-15 Express Lanes.

On July 20, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) announced an award of $152 million to RCTC to help finance the construction of new I-15 Express Lanes. The funds come from US DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), a rigorous program available to creditworthy, financially-sound agencies such as RCTC.

This major award will help offset the local taxpayers’ share of the project cost and means RCTC and its contractor can get to work in 2018 on the I-15 Express Lanes, which will reduce congestion, improve quality of life, and deliver commuters valuable time savings. The lanes are expected to open in mid-2020.

RCTC TIFIA I-15 Point Article Featured Image

The I-15 Express Lanes Project will add two tolled express lanes in each direction on I-15 between Cajalco Road and SR-60, a distance of approximately 15 miles.

Future traffic and population growth forecasts show that traffic will continue to increase along this corridor, reducing mobility and increasing travel times. This project will help alleviate those issues in a fiscally responsible manner, ensuring the free flow of traffic in the future.

RCTC I-15 Express Lanes August 3, 2017, KABC News Segment

Through toll collections on these express lanes, RCTC will ensure adequate ongoing funding for maintenance and repair.  Tolls will also pay back the TIFIA loan.  Any toll revenue above what is needed for maintenance and debt payments will be invested back into mobility improvements on the I-15 corridor.  

In addition to the federal TIFIA loan, local and federal funds will also be used to pay for a portion of the initial construction including Riverside County’s voter-approved Measure A transportation sales tax program. The overall cost of the project is approximately $455 million.

RCTC TIFIA I-15 Point Article Money Image

The loan represents the agency’s second TIFIA loan award, a testament to RCTC’s bond rating, sound planning, and fiscal responsibility. The previous TIFIA loan helped fund the recently-opened 91 Project.

Riverside County’s congressional delegation provided strong support for the TIFIA loan, including Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and Congress Members Calvert and Takano.

To learn more about the I-15 Express Lanes project, check out this Fact Sheet and this Frequently Asked Questions page available in both English and Spanish.  You can also follow the project on Facebook.