Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal this week to sell $3.8 billion of debt in the next eight years for bridge upgrades requires the state to restructure outstanding obligations and use future borrowing capacity now.

The governor yesterday announced a strategy to repair 411 structurally deficient spans throughout the state and help boost the commonwealth's economy as officials prepare for a possible recession. Yet to make room for $3.8 billion of additional general obligation borrowing, Massachusetts would need to push maturities on $366 million of debt to 30 years from 20 years and, in addition, take a portion of bonding capacity from fiscal years 2017 through 2028 for the increased borrowing in the next eight years.

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