Contact: Rebecca Rudman 202-225-1986
Rep. Calvert Disappointed that DOT Denied 91 Freeway Corridor Project TIFIA Loan
Looks Toward Successful Reconsideration
Washington, Jul 6 -
Today Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA) expressed his disappointment that the 91 Freeway Corridor Project was denied a loan through the Transportation Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (TIFIA), administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Rep. Calvert strongly advocated for the 91 Freeway Corridor Project (via meetings, phone calls, a bipartisan letter in support of a TIFIA loan for the project, an op-ed, etc). Rep. Calvert worked with state and local officials, the Inland Empire and Orange County delegations, and with U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. The 91 Freeway Corridor Project would have created as many as 14,000 jobs during the five-year time-span of construction.
“I am disappointed by the Department of Transportation’s decision, but I am heartened by comments made by DOT leadership that the 91 Freeway Corridor Project is a good project,” said Rep. Calvert. “I will be working with my colleagues to bring Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to southern California to show him the severity of the problem; the 91 freeway is a bottleneck that hinders goods movement and it is a commuter nightmare.”
The 91 freeway serves as the main connector between the Inland Empire, Orange County and Los Angeles and is also a major trade corridor to transport goods into the interior of the U.S from the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach. A study conducted by the Riverside County Transportation Commission showed that completion of the project would yield roughly an extra three days worth of time per year commuters will not have to spend in their car stuck in traffic.
The Transportation Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (TIFIA) was created by Congress to provide “federal credit assistance to nationally or regionally significant surface transportation projects, including highway, transit and rail. The program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing projects with supplemental or subordinate debt” (U.S Department of Transportation, www.dot.gov).
“We will stand ready to reapply for the TIFIA loan in order to move forward on the project. Unemployment is almost 15% in the Inland Empire; with the job creation potential of the 91 Freeway Corridor Project it is imperative that it is approved as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Calvert. “I will be working with Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica to ensure that TIFIA is adequately funded. TIFIA, which leverages federal dollars with private funding to build and improve infrastructure and create jobs, is a careful, limited and effective way for the federal government to help with high-impact infrastructure projects.”
Click here to read Rep. Calvert’s Opinion Editorial in support of the 91 Freeway Corridor Project published in the Riverside Press Enterprise.