Orrick Advises on US$660 Million 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension P3


Orrick’s Infrastructure lawyers advised Transurban in all aspects of the approximately US$660 million Capital Beltway Express Lanes Northern Extension project (Project NEXT), a public-private partnership (P3) with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), including securing debt and equity financing. Project NEXT will extend the existing I-495 Express Lanes by 2.5 miles towards Maryland, thereby easing congestion, enhancing safety and reducing local neighborhood traffic. The project also includes long-term annual transit investment from toll revenues, supporting the launch of new transit services and the construction of new bicycle and pedestrian paths along the corridor.

The US$394 million debt financing for the project is comprised of private activity bonds (PABs), funding under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), and a loan from the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, with the remainder of the funding set to come from the Transurban Chesapeake shareholders as the project progresses. Concurrent to the debt financing, the parties achieved financial close on the refinancing of existing debt facilities, including PABs issued in 2008 and a TIFIA loan.

The multimodal Capital Beltway project will provide critically needed infrastructure enhancements to alleviate bottlenecks in the Greater Washington, D.C. area and is expected to generate an estimated 6,300 jobs and US$880 million in economic impact. Transurban is the developer and operator and owns a 50% interest in the I-495 Express Lanes through Transurban Chesapeake. Orrick previously advised Transurban on the Capital Beltway HOT Lanes Project in Virginia, their first project in the area.

The team was led by Young Lee and included Susan Long, Joseph Lodico, Iris Zhang, Helen Pennock, Marlowe Mitchell, Irma Foley, Cathy Zhu, Eli Humphries and Eric Brannock.