TIFIA cash for Atlanta corridor P3

The 29-mile ‘Northwest Corridor Project’ has garnered $275m in federal funding. The project took shape after the 'West by Northwest' project was cancelled.

 A toll road public-private partnership (PPP; P3) in Atlanta, Georgia, has secured a loan from the US federal government.

The ‘Northwest Corridor Project’ (NWC) qualified for $275 million in TIFIA financing, US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced Thursday.

TIFIA, or the Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act of 1998, is a federal credit assistance programme to support surface transportation infrastructure in America. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) govern TIFIA.

Foxx, appointed Transportation Secretary in July, posited NWC would lessen traffic congestion on Interstate 75 (I-75) and Interstate 575 (I-575) in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, a state in the US South.

The 29-mile managed lane project was made public in spring 2012 and took shape after Georgia cancelled the ‘West by Northwest Project’ (WxNW).

WxNW was a proposed $2.8 billion design, build, finance, operate, and maintain (DBFOM) concession to address rush-hour traffic on the ‘economically important’ I-75 and I-575 corridor.

The project was the brainchild of Vance Smith, a state legislator who in 2009 became the top transportation official in Georgia.

Until he resigned in late 2011 Smith, as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), sought to position WxNW as the flagship P3 in the ‘Peach State’.

Despite the departure of Smith, WxNW remained in procurement until Nathan Deal, elected governor of Georgia in 2011, killed the project.

Deal hailed NWC as a less expensive design, build and finance (DBF) alternative to WxNW: in September, the Department contracted consortium ‘Northwest Express Roadbuilders’ for $598 million.

NWC is worth $840 million. The TIFIA loan will be paid to the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA), which will operate and manage the project.