MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama has closed a bond deal to build two supersize prisons, housing up to 4,000 prisoners each, even as inmates filed a lawsuit seeking to block the project.

The Alabama Finance Department said the bond sale, which had been approved last month, was finalized Tuesday.

That came a day after a lawsuit was filed challenging the use of pandemic relief funds to pay part of the construction cost.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers approved the massive construction project as a solution to the state’s ongoing prison woes.

Critics of the construction plan argue the state is ignoring the bigger issues in prison staffing levels and leadership.