SANDAG, which operates the toll road, said in a statement that it has secured “a more conservative level debt service structure that will save more than $147 million over the life of the 26-year loans. This equates to $88 million in present value.”
“SANDAG closed on an extremely favorable refinancing opportunity, which reduces the costs to run the South Bay Expressway, a vital link serving residents throughout the region,” said County Supervisor and SANDAG Chair Ron Roberts. “SANDAG lowered tolls and now we lowered the loan financing costs by tens of millions. We are very pleased.”
In September, the SANDAG board of directors voted to reduce the total debt service and approved the refinancing of the San Diego County Regional Transportation Commission and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans used to purchase the toll road through the sale of $194 million of fixed-rate Series 2017 Revenue Bonds.
When the bonds were sold late last week, investor interest was high, according to SANDAG.
“The bonds were sold to 40 different investors, which enabled SANDAG to reduce interest rates from the initial offering,” the SANDAG statement read.
The South Bay Expressway opened Nov. 19, 2007. It extends from Otay Mesa Road/State Route 905 in Otay Mesa near the international border, north through eastern Chula Vista to State Route 54 in Spring Valley.
A private developer raised capital for the massive $658 million infrastructure project and constructed the road in exchange for a 35-year toll concession from Caltrans.
In December 2011, following a bankrupty, SANDAG purchased the franchise lease on the 10-mile South Bay Expressway for $351 million.
Control of the road reverts back to Caltrans in 2042.
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