The Nassau County Bridge Authority plans to market $10.9 million of tax-exempt bonds to retail investors on Wednesday to rehabilitate a draw bridge on Long Island. Institutional pricing is expected to follow on Thursday.
The Atlantic Beach Bridge is one of four connecting the barrier island communities of Atlantic Beach, Long Beach and Lido to the main island. Spanning the Reynolds Channel, it is the closest bridge on the island to New York City and is a thoroughfare for commuters, commercial traffic and summer beach goers. The bascule bridge allows oil barges to deliver fuel to Long Island.
The bonds are secured by toll revenue which is projected to provide 3.45 times coverage in 2010 and to remain above 3 times coverage for the near and medium term, according to a Moody’s Investors Service ratings report. In 2009, 6,467,061 vehicles crossed the bridge, generating toll revenue of $6.2 million and providing 4.14 times coverage.
Moody’s rates the deal A3 with a stable outlook.
Most of the gears and mechanisms on the bridge, which was built in 1952, are original, said authority executive director Vincent Grasso.
“As time went on the stuff held up real well; now we’re running into the problem of getting replacement parts, primarily for the electronics,” Grasso said. “With these repairs we’re expected to go another 60 to 70 years without having to do too much else to it other than routine maintenance …We will, for all intents and purposes have a brand new bridge.”
Janney Montgomery Scott is the underwriter and Troutman Sanders LLP is bond counsel. The bonds are expected to be marketed with serial maturities of up to 10 years and as term bonds with maturities from 15 to 30 years.