State issues new Tacoma bridge bonds

Armed with Monday’s decision by a Thurston County Superior Court Judge to dismiss the latest Tacoma Narrows Bridge lawsuit, the Washington State Treasurer’s Office issued the first $158 million in bonds to pay for the project.

“It’s not every day, or every decade, that we help build a bridge of this magnitude,” said State Treasurer Michael J. Murphy. “This day is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people. We’re excited now to see the bridge project begin early next month.”

The pricetag for the bridge is around $850 million, and additional bonds will have to be sold later to pay for the remaining portion. But the issue of the first $158 million gives developers the capital to begin construction.

The State Finance Committee, consisting of Gov. Gary Locke, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen and Murphy, voted to approve the bridge bond sale and awarded it to J.P. Morgan.

Morgan offered a true interest cost (TIC) bid of 4.85742 percent for the bridge bonds.

The finance committee decided to go ahead with the bond issue after Thurston County Superior Court Judge Daniel Berschauer dismissed a lawsuit filed by Gig Harbor-based Citizens Against Tolls designed to block bridge construction. Construction will likely begin in October.

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