PABs to net $641m in Ohio bridges P3

The Indiana Finance Authority will hold a $641m bond offering to finance the East End Crossing P3. East End is one half of the $2.6bn Ohio River Brides project.

A bond deal to help finance a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) in Indiana tied to the Ohio River Bridges ‘mega-project’ is expected to haul in $641 million. 

A private activity bond (PAB) offering by the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) to fund the ‘East End Crossing’ half of the $2.6 billion transportation infrastructure project will kick off Monday. 

IFA is representing Indiana in the Ohio River Bridges project, a cross-state enterprise dating back to 2002 and conceived to link Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

Indiana decided to use a P3 to pursue the $1.3 billion East End Crossing—its half of the project. The crossing will use the availability payment structure. 

The $641 million will be loaned to WVB East End Partners, a private consortium teaming Walsh Investors, Vinci Concessions and Bilfinger Berger. Indiana reached commercial close with WVB in December after the consortium trimmed $300 million—or 23 percent—off the cost of the project with its $763 million winning offer in November. IFA had shortlisted WVB in March. 

Fitch Ratings scored the PABs a BBB. Standard & Poor’s did not reveal its rating. The bond deal will bring about the effective financial close for the East End Crossing P3. 

The Ohio River Bridges undertaking has been dubbed a ‘mega-project’ for US transportation infrastructure. 

While Indiana, via former Governor Mitch Daniels, an ardent supporter of privatisation who clinched the $3.8 billion Indiana Toll Road deal in 2008, has used alternative financing to purse the East End Crossing, Kentucky is taking a traditional design-build approach to its half of the project.