The Massachusetts Port Authority will pay down $20.8 million of debt as the agency prepares to hand over the Tobin Bridge to a new entity, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

MassPort issued roughly that amount of debt for capital projects on the bridge but rather than defeasing the actual bonds it will tap into its $874 million fiscal 2010 capital budget to defease a roughly equal amount of its outstanding bonds, those that offer the most savings. All of MassPort’s bonds are consolidated obligations.

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