New Law Lets State Commission Issue $1B More in Bonds

Mon April 17, 2017 - West Edition #8

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a measure to let the state issue up to $1 billion in highway general obligation bonds to accelerate funding for a number of projects that the Utah Transportation Commission has already approved.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah Department of Transportation officials have said that projects likely to receive the largest influx of funding will be on Interstate 15 along the Wasatch Front, in areas that see significant congestion.

The story said regional officials have urged the commission to spend some of the money in their areas. For instance, those from southern Utah highlighted a provision in the legislation that calls for $100 million to be spent on projects that could help boost recreation and tourism in the state.

It also said the bond money would come in over four years and have a 15-year payback period.

The bonding measure, which takes effect July 1, said the state DOT should give priority to “projects with a regional significance or that support economic development within the state.”

It mostly left the assignment of funds to the commission and UDOT, but specified that $19 million of the bond proceeds be put into a Transportation Infrastructure Loan Fund for certain designated uses.