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March 15, 2007

Moody’s Gives Authority Highest Rating for Toll Bridges
Bridge Authority Finances called “Stable, Strong”

Highland, NY – Citing a “High Quality” credit rating, Moody’s Investor Services Global Credit Research reaffirmed the State Bridge Authority as one of only three toll-funded public or government transportation agencies in the nation to achieve an Aa2 rating.

According to Moody’s March 6th statement, “The rating outlook is stable and is based on the very strong historical financial performance of the authority and the stability of transaction levels at its five bridge facilities”.

“Financial performance of the authority remains quite strong even though the authority has only raised tolls twice since its inception in 1932,” Moody’s continued.

Among the factors cited for the high rating, Moody’s listed the Authority’s established regional, multi-asset bridge system with a history of strong financial performance; revenue providing healthy debt service coverage levels; and, limited capital spending requirements in the near to mid-term.

Authority Chairman James P. Sproat was pleased with the rating.  “We strive to make sure that our finances are tight and well controlled, we invest in our facilities wisely,” Sproat said. “This affirmation by Moody’s is welcome news and will help us keep the tolls on the five bridges over the Hudson among the lowest in the nation.”

Sproat also noted that Authority bridges are well maintained and receive constant attention. “Our engineering and maintenance staffs do an excellent job.  This leads to efficient operations and reduced costs in the long-term, and that benefits everyone in the Hudson Valley.”

Executive Director George C. Sinnott said, “We are particularly pleased that Moody’s saw fit to continue this high rating which had initially been received in 2002 and affirmed in 2004.  Our continued efforts to control expenses and plan for the future will insure that we make the most cost-effective use of our funds.”

The NYS Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges. 
From Moody’s Investor Services
Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

Additional Quick Facts about the New York State Bridge Authority

  • The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies for bridge maintenance and operation.
  • The West to East $1 passenger vehicle toll for passage on all Authority bridges is among the lowest in the nation for self-supporting transportation agencies.  There is no toll for East to West bound traffic.