2020 is not the year for many things, and you can add Brightline West to the list. The high-speed rail line connecting southern California to Las Vegas was supposed to break ground in the coming weeks, but the announcement of a delayed $2.4 billion bond offering has put everything on hold.
Brightline blamed the schedule change on market conditions due to COVID-19 and the fact that 2020 is an election year. The company insists there is still investor interest to make the bond sale happen, and says there was a deal in place, but it would have been restrictive.
Brightline says it will continue to monitor market conditions before it will attempt the bond offering. If the action is delayed beyond Dec. 31, both Nevada and California will reallocate funds marked for the high-speed rail project to affordable housing. IRS guidelines require states to finalize the use of their bond volume cap by Feb. 15.
In the meantime, Brightline will continue to finalize portions of the project with state officials.