Monday’s sale of Series 2015 Federal Highway Grant Anticipation Bond financing – commonly referred to as GARVEE Bonds – provided $91 million for highway infrastructure projects in the territory, according to the Public Finance Authority.
Proceeds of the closing of the bonds includes $40 million allocated to Veterans Drive Highway on St. Thomas and $51 million directed to fund projects on St. Croix, including the Melvin Evans Highway.
Standards & Poor’s Ratings Services assigned the bonds an “A,” the highest rating of any bonding program currently offered by the PFA. The bonds are among the stronger rated credits in the Caribbean, according to the PFA’s news release.
The PFA received more than $201 million of orders for $89.9 million of bonds. Investor interest was broad, with more than 32 institutional accounts placing orders. The bonds were sold with a yield of 3.54 percent, among the lowest capital cost of any borrowing in the USVI.
“This signifies the beginning and continuation of major road construction projects in both districts that would provide jobs to our residents, deliver an economic boon to the territory, but more importantly, will enhance our transportation safety and relieve traffic congestion on some of the territory’s most essential roadways,” said Gov. Kenneth Mapp, who is also chairman of the PFA Board of Directors.
Road project construction on some of these project is scheduled to commence within the first quarter of 2016, the news release said.