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Investors gobble up Parkway bonds; state garners $423 million for road projects

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There was significant interest from investors in toll revenue bonds the West Virginia Parkways Authority sold on Wall Street this week.

Governor Jim Justice

The authority took $333 million in bonds to the market that will finance future highway projects in a 10-county region in southern West Virginia.

The bonds sold quickly. Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday there were a lot of buyers who were left out. He said orders totaled $3.8 billion.

“When we go to the market there are 11.6 times the people that are trying to buy our bonds than the amount of the $333 million,” Justice said.

The bond sale also garnered a $90 million premium for a total sale of $423 million.

The Parkways Authority was able to secure a 2.62% interest rate on the bonds. They will be paid back over a 30-year period using toll revenue from the Turnpike.

Parkways Authority General Manager Jeff Miller said the success of the sale speaks to the success of the Turnpike.

Jeff Miller

“I am thrilled with the response from Wall Street for our bonds. This is a testament to the incredible vision that Governor Justice has had to utilize one of the most important assets that our state’s road system has: the West Virginia Turnpike,” Miller said in a news release.

It appears Wednesday’s bond sale benefited from good marking timing. According to a news release, “Market conditions amplified the bond sale’s success with a rally in the Treasury market and an exceptionally strong day in the municipal market with all investors anxious to put their money to work.”

The bond sale is the second for the Parkways Authority in connection with Justice’s Road to Prosperity program. The money from the bonds will not finance Turnpike projects but rather other highway projects in the 10 counties that surround the Turnpike. Turnpike projects are financed through separate bonds.

The authority doubled the tolls on the Turnpike in 2019 to pay for the recent bonding.

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