State secures federal loan for Route 301 expansion
DelDOT has secured a federal loan of just over $211 million to help expand Route 301 in New Castle County.
Earlier this month, officials called the loan the final hurdle to moving forward on construction of the First State's biggest road project in years.
The project involves expanding Route 301 north of Middletown as a toll road connecting with Route 1.
Officials say the federal loan's interest will be deferred for five years, giving them time to set up a reserve fund with initial toll revenues. That fund will help support repayment of the federal dollars from the state's Transportation Trust Fund.
The estimate for the project currently stands at $470 million, but DelDOT officials say they'll be able to confirm that figure through a competitive bidding process this month now that they have the federal loan on offer.
Actual construction on the road expansion is set to start early next year.
DelDOT says they'll make up some of the rest of the project's cost by selling toll revenue bonds -- and they say the size of the federal loan will help offset the need for those, too.