New York State had been hoping that a third of the cost of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement would be funded through a low-interest loan. But the federal government has taken a pass — at least for this round.
In February, the state sent the U.S. Department of Transportation a letter of interest, requesting a $2 billion TIFIA (for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan for the massive bridge construction project.
The state had said that the total cost of the project would be about $5.2 billion, although a budget hasn’t been finalized.
The TIFIA website says that the agency received “26 Letters of Interest (LOIs) seeking more than $13 billion in credit assistance to finance approximately $36 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.” It continues: “While limited TIFIA resources mean that not all of the LOIs can be selected, five projects are being invited to apply for credit assistance.”
TIFIA loans are used for large-scale infrastructure projects that cost $50 million or more. Loans can’t exceed 33% of project costs.
In an emailed statement, Thomas Madison, Executive Director of the Thruway Authority, said: ” “We are very pleased that the Tappan Zee has been placed on a short list of six projects that will undergo an expedited review process for funds immediately after federal transportation reauthorization. We understand that in light of current financing constraints, the USDOT has prioritized smaller projects that are further along in development and required immediate financing in this first round,” said Thomas Madison, Executive Director of the Thruway Authority.
The state hasn’t yet provided evidence that the bridge is on “a short list,” nor has the Federal Highway Administration.
In Albany Thursday, Howard Glaser, director of operations, called the federal government’s decision “good news.”