The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is selling $224 million of bonds to finance its payments to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which finances a variety of highway, bridge and transit capital projects.

The deal includes $127 million of subordinate revenue bonds and $97 million of motor license fund-enhanced subordinate special revenue bonds, with maturities out to 2042.

Siebert, Brandford, Shank & Co. is the lead manager.

Retail orders were taken Tuesday with an institutional order period set for Wednesday.

The subordinate revenue bonds are rated A3 by Moody's Investors Service, with a negative outlook, and A-minus by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, both with stable outlooks.

Moody's negative outlook reflects the possibility that larger than currently forecasted toll rate increases will be necessary to maintain financial operations and targeted debt-service coverage ratios.

The rating could be lowered if toll increases are not implemented as planned or traffic, revenues or liquidity levels fall short of expectations.

The motor license fund-enhanced bonds are rated Aa3 with a negative outlook by Moody's and AA with a stable outlook by Fitch. S&P does not rate the bonds.

The fund receives proceeds of motor fuels taxes, vehicle registration fees, license taxes and federal transportation revenue.

Also in Pennsylvania, the Allegheny County Airport Authority's bonds outstanding issued for Pittsburgh International Airport received a credit rating upgrade to A-minus from BBB-plus from Standard & Poor's.

S&P also assigned its A-minus rating to the authority's $50 million airport revenue bonds, also issued for the airport, scheduled to go to market on April 24. The outlook is stable.

S&P says the upgrade is based on their opinion that the airport's overall financial situation is stable.

Moody's assigned a Baa1 on the existing debt and new bonds, and revised a stable outlook to positive.

Lead underwriter for the deal is Jefferies & Co. and the financial advisor is Morgan Keegan & Co.

James Gill, chief financial officer at the Allegheny County Airport Authority, said the proceeds will go toward the rehabilitation of the airport's parking garage and "people mover" cars, energy-saving initiatives, and general terminal improvements.

The deal includes $37.1 million of revenue bonds, subject to the alternative minimum tax, split into two sub-series. About $14.5 million of Series 2012A-1 will mature in 2029. The $22.6 million Series 2012A-2 will be privately placed, maturing in 2020. The $13.31 Series 2012B revenue bonds will not be subject to the AMT and will mature in 2032.

The airport is located 16 miles from downtown Pittsburgh and serves a seven-county region with a population of 2.4 million.

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