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NARROWS BRIDGE: Can’t project be refinanced?

Letter by Ken E. Bobko , Tacoma on July 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | 2 Comments »
July 16, 2012 9:43 am

Re: “Bridge payoff plan faces uncertainties” (TNT, 7-15).

A decade ago, a private company called United Infrastructures offered to build at its own expense a second bridge over the Narrows. No bidding, no bonds, simple and easy. After “X” decades the tolls would be removed and the bridge would be turned over to the state. The project started on that premise, and now we have a project that can’t pay for itself. In the full-page article was no indication of what interest rate the state is paying. TNT, shame on you.

When I get my mortgage statement, principal paid off and interest fees are seen separate. Why can’t we see that info also? When a home mortgage is at 3.65 percent, what are we paying on the bonds for the bridge? The federal rate is what now, less than zero? Can’t someone in the state arrange a refinance of this project?

I would find it stunning that there isn’t some lender out there who wouldn’t “risk” lending money out for at a guaranteed return. They have a captive “user.” As an inventive release the sales tax portion of cost that never should have been attached to the project. In addition let the investor manage the toll collections so that they get that additional revenue.

If a deal is to be negotiated please don’t use the same consultant that calculated the pay back without considering the lost revenue from Good to Go and most certainly don’t use anyone from the state that signed off on the first deal.

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