Oklahoma gets $100 million in bonds for roads

| 9/13/2006

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has been cleared to get $100 million in bonds to pay for 12 highway projects throughout the state.

The state Council of Bond Oversight has authorized the department to use the bond issue as part of a program intended to upgrade corridors deemed critical to the state’s economic growth.

It is the third time ODOT has used the federal program that allows states to address immediate road needs with grant-anticipated revenue vehicle bonds, or GARVEE bonds.

The program allows a state to borrow money against the federal transportation dollars that come each year to pay for construction. The sale is based on the assumption that federal funding in future years would pay off the bonds. This allows states to get money needed for projects up front.

The $100 million bond issue will be financed over 15 years, The Oklahoman reported. Annual debt service is estimated at about $9 million.

The two other bond issues were for $50 million apiece over 15 years. They were issued in 2004 and 2005.

Money from the latest bond issue, which will likely be sold in October, will go for such projects as widening Interstate 44 in Tulsa and to build bridges on U.S. 70 in the Hugo area.

Amounts allotted for each project have yet to be determined, the Tulsa World reported.