Thursday, November 08, 2007

"What a historic day!"

Financing details for 121 toll road disclosed

November 8, 2007

The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2007

Ushering in a new era for Dallas-area drivers, the North Texas Tollway Authority disclosed today for the first time the details of how it will raise the $3.3 billion it has promised to pay in return for completing and operating the State Highway 121 toll road.

Acting just ahead of a state-imposed deadline, the NTTA board of directors today authorized its staff to borrow up to $3.75 billion in high-interest, short-term notes. NTTA will use the money from the notes to pay the $3.3 billion -- or about $24,038 per foot of the new 26-mile road -- that the NTTA has promised to the state transportation department. The balance of the borrowed money -- more than $450 million -- will be used to pay legal and financing costs, and to pay about $275 million toward remaining construction work on Highway 121.

NTTA will refinance that debt within 12 months, when it sells bonds backed by the future tolls on State Highway 121, and on its network of other toll roads.

“We are one step closer to improving mobility, the economy and quality of life in North Texas by building this essential transportation link for the Metroplex," said Paul Wageman, chairman of the NTTA board of directors.

The board also approved a toll rate schedule for Highway 121, as required by the lenders.

"What a historic day!" said board member James Base. "I really appreciate all the faith everyone has placed in us."

© 2007 The Dallas Morning News Co

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