The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau recently provided a low-interest, long-term loan of $41.6 million to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to help the agency finance 49 percent of the $86 million in eligible costs for its Rural Two-Lane Advancement And Management Plan, known as RAAMP.
[Above photo by the Oklahoma DOT]
The RAAMP project is a compilation of eight different construction efforts that seeks to add nearly 27 miles of eight-foot shoulders, asphalt resurfacing, and safety improvements as well as 6.4 miles of roadway reconstruction across eight state counties.
“Over the last five years, 38 percent of all serious and fatal crashes in Oklahoma have occurred on rural roads with no shoulders,” said USDOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg in a statement. “USDOT is proud to support the RAAMP program to help address safety issues and save lives in Oklahoma.”
“The Bureau’s Rural Project Initiative (RPI) provides flexibility to deliver much-needed improvements sooner with very favorable financing terms,” added Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.
“This is our fifth RPI loan closed at half the Treasury rate, which saves project sponsors money and avoids escalating costs that make the projects more and more unattainable,” he added.
Established as a “one-stop-shop” for federal loans during President Obama’s administration, the Bureau seeks to help states and other sponsors fund a range of infrastructure projects – offering low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance, and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation.
The Bureau said its RPI program helps improve transportation infrastructure in America’s rural communities.
Under this initiative, a surface transportation project between $10 million and $100 million in an area with a population less than 150,000 can be eligible for financing with significant savings over traditional Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act or TIFIA loans and other commercial financing products.