Thursday, April 24 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:25:05 GMT
Rick Pitino added former Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson to his staff with an official announcement Wednesday, while adding that he'll bring former Cardinal David Padgett back to Louisville as an assistant video coordinator.More >>
Rick Pitino added former Indiana assistant Kenny Johnson to his staff with an official announcement Wednesday, while adding that he'll bring former Cardinal David Padgett back to Louisville as an assistant video coordinator. More >>
Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The bond deal that will pay for Kentucky's share of the Ohio River Bridges Project closed on Friday, state officials announced.
Investors had purchased roughly $728 million in bonds and other debt last week – the final piece of the state's financing for a new downtown bridge and a redesigned Spaghetti Junction interchange.
Earlier this year, Indiana secured financing for its part of the $2.6 billion project – a new bridge between Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind.
Kentucky's financial close is a "significant milestone," Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said in a news release.
"We are gratified by the strong investor demand we found last week," Hancock said.
Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings classified the debt as "investment grade," although both rating agencies gave the bonds and the bond-anticipation notes their lowest possible ratings before they consider the debt to be "junk," or high-risk.
Moody's Investors Service based their ratings on an uncharted tolling environment in Louisville, alternatives to new toll bridges and debt payments that increase over time.
Those factors, and the overall complexity of the downtown bridge project, are "significant credit risks," according to Moody's analysts.
Fitch Ratings analysts noted that established traffic patterns across the Ohio River help offset the risks associated with a new eastern bridge.
Moody's and Fitch gave the bonds a "stable" outlook – and orders for the bond issue reached nearly $3 billion, according to the state.
Fitch noted that the project financing benefits from the ability to increase tolls by an oversight group of Kentucky and Indiana officials, but "[T]he bi-state nature of the toll approval process could result in delays to increases when requested."
Moody's analysts wrote that the project strengths include proven downtown traffic, and they expect enough toll revenue to meet debt payments, as well as reserve accounts.
At the same time, Moody's warned that drivers may choose to avoid tolls downtown by taking the adjacent Clark Memorial Bridge or I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge.
Overall, Kentucky sold $276 million in toll backed bonds and $452 in bond-anticipation notes. The notes will be used to help pay for construction but are to be replaced, starting in 2017, by a federal transportation loan.
Tuesday, April 15 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-04-15 20:22:22 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday he believes the Legislative Ethics Commission should re-open the inquiry into alleged ethics violations against former state Rep. JohnMore >>
Governor says ethics commission members should be present and reconsider action on Democratic state lawmaker accused of sexually harassing staffers.More >>
Friday, April 4 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-04-04 22:19:31 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A group of eastern Jefferson County residents are suing Louisville Metro government and several developers, arguing that the city planning commission's approval of a FedEx distributionMore >>
Residents are asking for recent planning commission decisions, including a proposed FedEx distribution center, to be ruled "null and void."More >>
Sunday, March 30 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-03-30 10:00:07 GMT
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Walmart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured.More >>
Leaders say the project will help revitalize western Louisville. But Wal-Mart's agreement with the city fails to answer key questions about the types of jobs that will be created and how hiring goals will be measured. More >>
Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-03-26 01:51:17 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Franklin Circuit court judge has ruled that the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline cannot use eminent domain to secure private land to build the pipeline. Developers hadMore >>
A Franklin Circuit court judge ruled that the developers of the natural gas liquids pipeline cannot condemn land to secure easements for the project. More >>