U.S. Department of Transportation Establishes Partnership with the … – Department of Transportation

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Press Office
US Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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Innovative federal-city partnership will identify potentially billions in financing for infrastructure projects that create sustainable solutions and reconnect communities
AUSTIN, TEXAS – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) today established a strategic partnership to facilitate innovative delivery and financing of infrastructure improvements in Austin, Texas. The Emerging Projects Agreement focuses on the City of Austin’s more than $22 billion “Mobility Program of Projects,” a network of projects designed to improve travel throughout the region. Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian and Austin Mayor Kirk Watson signed the agreement at a ceremony at Austin City Hall. 
“The Bureau’s experts will partner with Austin officials to explore innovative approaches and best practices that can advance projects further into development and construction, so communities benefit sooner from the planned improvements,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “We are dealing with a large and complicated program of projects that will significantly enhance transportation mobility, resiliency, affordability, and safety. To deliver this program effectively and efficiently, we need to form a strong partnership, engage all stakeholders, use innovative approaches and best practices, and take advantage of all tools in our toolbox.”
This partnership will help move projects forward to deliver benefits to the growing region, with to the goal of reconnecting communities, using technology to reduce traffic and pedestrian fatalities, and retaining vulnerable local businesses and residents.
“The Emerging Projects Agreement creates a great opportunity for Austin to try new ideas for accelerating mobility projects in a manner that also respects our community values,” said Austin Mayor Kirk Watson.  “I appreciate Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Build America Bureau, and our Congressional delegation for their continued support and guidance. I hope this partnership will help us deliver critical infrastructure projects more efficiently for our taxpayers.”
Under the agreement, the Build America Bureau and City of Austin will explore opportunities for innovative project planning, procurement, financing, and delivery that could include using low-interest rate financing such as Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans, Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF), Private Activity Bonds (PABs), and technical assistance grants.
The preliminary list of projects that could benefit from this partnership include:
The Bureau and Austin officials will hold a workshop to engage stakeholders, review the infrastructure needs and help identify the potential innovative solutions next month. Both the City of Austin and USDOT consider infrastructure projects on their potential and in a manner that promotes equity and environmental justice.
The Build America Bureau advances investment in transportation infrastructure by lending Federal funds to qualified borrowers; clearing roadblocks for credit worthy projects; and encouraging best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operations.  The Bureau draws on expertise across DOT to serve as the point of coordination for states, municipalities, private partners, and other project sponsors seeking Federal financing. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Biden signed in November 2021, expands eligibility for project financing and gives borrowers more flexibility, while protecting taxpayer resources.
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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