Transportation Authority Signs Off On BAIFA Deal, Authorizes $53 Million Loan to Complete Express Lanes Project

South San Francisco, CA  September 11, 2019 Submitted by San Mateo County Transportation Authority

The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) Board of Directors took two actions to advance the San Mateo US 101 Express Lanes Project at their meeting last Thursday. The Board voted to execute a four-party agreement for toll system design services with the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA), the City and County Association of Governemnts of San Mateo County (C/CAG) and the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Power Authority (SMCELJPA), and also authorized a $53 million loan for the project.

The agreement tasks BAIFA with the responsibility to complete the toll system design for the project, covering both the hardware and software that will be used to operate the toll system. The four parties agreed to a cost of $3 million for this aspect of the project, which will be funded by bridge toll revenue. The toll system design is targeted to be complete by December of this year.

The loan will fund the remainder of the $514.3 million project, with the rest coming from local, state, federal and private sector sources. This loan will be paid back by future toll revenues generated by the express lanes.

The San Mateo US 101 Express Lanes Project, currently slated for completion at the end of 2022, will build an express lane in each direction on US 101 from the San Mateo/Santa Clara County line to Interstate 380, a distance of about 22 miles.

Express lanes will allow carpools with three or more people and buses, including SamTrans express routes like the recently-launched FCX, to travel for free. Others can travel in the lane for a toll, while maintaining a targeted 45 mph traffic flow.

Construction is under way on the south segment from the Santa Clara County line to Whipple Avenue in Redwood City, and should be complete by early 2020. Construction will begin on the north segment from Whipple Avenue to Interstate 380 in 2020 and will be complete late 2022.

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About the TA: Created to administer Measure A, San Mateo County’s ½ sales tax, the Transportation Authority provides funding for transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. In 2004, more than 75 percent of San Mateo County residents voted to reauthorize Measure A for an additional 25 years.

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