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The $29 million bond issuance that paid for the final stages of Gary/Chicago International Airport's $174 million runway expansion has won a top award from a prestigious trade publication.

The Bond Buyer, a leading publication for municipal finance officials, has named the Gary airport authority's bond issuance its Midwest Deal of the Year for 2015. It is now eligible for The Bond Buyer's national Deal of the Year award, to be given in New York in December.

"The runway expansion project was a complex, yet critical investment needed to drive growth at the Gary/Chicago International Airport and throughout the Northwest Indiana region," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

"On behalf of all those who worked to accomplish this innovative funding solution, we are honored be recognized with Bond Buyer’s Midwest Deal of the Year award."

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Sycamore Adivsors LLC was the financial advisor on the deal, which was assembled throughout 2014 and into 2015. The law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels served as bond counsel.

The airport borrowing was never a sure thing, as declining property values have stressed the city financially. But the $29 million in airport revenue bonds are backed by a large tax-increment financing district on the city's west side and received investment grade ratings.

The runway, extended to 8,900 feet, opened for business in June. Airport officials hope the airport's ability to land larger aircraft will lead to increased cargo and passenger activity.

This story was corrected from an earlier version.

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