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December 16, 2008

Bridge Authority Finances Strong

Stable and strong – that’s the way Standard & Poor’s described the NYS Bridge Authority’s finances recently.

The Bridge Authority’s AA- rating was reaffirmed in a December 2008 profile compiled by the credit rating company.

“In these troubling financial times, we are especially pleased that the Bridge Authority continues to receive such a high rating,” Authority Chairman James P. Sproat said.  “We will continue to work to make sure we keep the lowest tolls possible while delivering safe and reliable transportation facilities.”

Standard & Poor’s Rating Service cited stable demand for the bridge system, despite recent declines due to rising fuel prices, and an ”experienced and proactive management team” which have kept the bridges in great shape.

Also cited was the “very low” $1 passenger car toll, when compared to other Hudson River crossings.  Tolls are collected only for east-bound traffic.

The high rating confirms a previously awarded rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investor Service.  Moody’s Bridge Authority rating is the highest given to any toll-supported public transportation agency in the United States

“We face a number of challenges in the coming years,” Sproat added, “and we will continue to cut costs where possible, make prudent investments in our facilities, become as efficient as we can and make sure that our maintenance program remains among the best in the nation.”

These higher bond ratings means the Bridge Authority can borrow money for capital projects at lower costs, resulting in savings for toll payers and lower overall expenses.