2010-03-18 / About Town

RITBA to offer new toll revenue bonds

The R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority will issue $50 million of toll revenue bonds during the week of March 29, according to David Darlington, chairman of RITBA.

For the first time, new RITBA bonds will be available to individuals, as well as institutional investors, since its last issuance in 2003.

The Series 2010 A bonds are being issued to fund part of the maintenance and repair needs of the Newport Pell and Mount Hope Bridges. Last year, RITBA sought and received approval by the General Assembly to issue Authority toll revenue bonds to fund improvements to the bridges.

In September, 2009, the RITBA board approved a five-year renewal and replacement plan that identified $124 million of major expenditures needed to extend the life of both bridges.

“The Newport Pell and Mount Hope Bridges are beautiful icons of the state and people can now have the opportunity to personally invest in the upkeep of these bridges and ensure their safety for the next generation,” Darlington said.

The bonds are rated A by Fitch and A- by Standard & Poor’s.

“These are investment-grade ratings, and we hope investors will express their confidence in us by purchasing them,” he said. “It is RITBA’s duty to ensure that the bridges are well maintained at all times and that we possess adequate revenue to fund their constant maintenance. A strong infrastructure benefits the state as a whole.”

Potential investors who want to ask questions and learn more about the bonds are invited to request a preliminary official statement by calling Bank of America Merrill Lynch at (800) 937-0710, Janney Montgomery Scott at 831- 8250 or Morgan Stanley at (877) 937-6739.

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