Shearman & Sterling advised the United States Department of Transportation, acting through the Federal Highway Administration, in connection with the extension of a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the I-77 HOT Lanes Project in North Carolina. The TIFIA loan is for up to $189 million, which will be used to finance certain highway improvements, including the construction of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, to an approximately 26-mile-long portion of the existing I-77 corridor north of Charlotte, North Carolina and an approximately 1.25 mile-long portion of the existing I-277.
The project, a public-private partnership (P3) between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and private developers, is the first P3 transaction completed under North Carolina’s recently-enacted P3 enabling legislation. The financing for the project also included the issuance by the project company of $100 million of tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and an approximately $95 million direct investment by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. When completed, the project will help reduce congestion and is expected to improve travel time for commuters in the corridor.