BOISE, Idaho — Officials with the Idaho Transportation Department say the state has saved $13.1 million in interest costs after refinancing bonds designates to improve the state’s aging highways.

ITD announced Thursday it worked with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to refinance $101 million of debt by reducing interest rates from 4.5 percent to 2.3 percent.

Known as “Grant Anticipation Revenue Bonds” — or GARVEE bonds — these bonds allow states to pay for new road projects and repay it with future federal highway payments. It’s a shift from a pay-as-you-go method because it allows states to fund critical transportation projects without putting up the cash first.

Earlier this year, lawmakers approved an additional $300 million in GARVEE bonding authority. That’s on top of the $857 million approved in 2005 to add relief to six traffic corridors.

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