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November 11, 2009

Bridge Authority Finances Strong
Standard & Poor’s Cites Excellent Management
Moody’s Says Tops in Nation

 The State Bridge Authority enjoys the distinction of having the highest financial rating and lowest tolls in the United States.

Highland, NY – Strong financial performance, proactive management and vigilant maintenance all combined to give the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA) the impressive AA- credit rating, among the best in the country for self-supporting toll agencies, according to a recent Standard & Poor’s (S&P) analysis.

Moody’s Investor Service also added their endorsement this month, ranking the Bridge Authority as one of only two toll facilities in the United States with their highest Aa2 Rating.

The two reports judged the Bridge Authority’s financial strength, likelihood that it will repay its debts and the relative safety of Bridge Authority bonds for investors.   The analysis takes into account how the Authority is run, management decisions, operational efficiency and the safety and integrity of its bridges.

Both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s put the Bridge Authority in its highest category for toll agencies.

Authority Chairman James P. Sproat said he was pleased with the rating.  “Given the current economic climate, knowing that we’ve made the right decisions and acted in the best interest of the public is reassuring,” Sproat said.

The independent rating agencies also cited NYSBA’s efforts to reduce costs by instituting a hiring freeze and reducing operating expenses as part of their positive conclusions.   The regular and proactive maintenance program run by the Bridge Authority also contributed to the report’s analysis. 

“We’re proud that our bridges have been called among the best maintained in the nation”, Sproat said.  “This reduces long-term expenses and allows us to be ahead of the curve instead of chasing problems.”  Ongoing maintenance insures the bridges continue to operate in a safe and efficient manner, Sproat added.

The most recent independent inspection reports rate all Bridge Authority spans as a “5”, the highest rating an older structure can achieve.  Bridge Authority bridges also have no flags – items in need of immediate attention – reinforcing the reliability of the maintenance program.

The S&P analysis also cited the Bridge Authority’s $1 toll rate for passenger cars being very low compared with most Hudson River crossings.  As of November 2009, the Bridge Authority standard toll is the lowest of any rated bridge agency in the nation.

An AA- rating by Standard & Poor’s Global Credit RatingDirect indicates the Authority has very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.  The strong rating means NYSBA can borrow money for long-term maintenance projects at a lower cost, saving money and resulting in greater efficiency.

The Moody’s report covered toll agencies across the country and listed only the Bridge Authority and the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority as worthy of its highest rating.

The Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges. 

The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies for bridge maintenance and operation.  Tolls today are actually lower, in real dollars, than they were in 1933 when the Authority began operations.

Full Moody’s Investors Service Rankings Chart follows. 

Moody’s Investor Services

Global Infrastructure Finance - U.S. Toll Road Sector Medians for Fiscal Year 2008

 Report Date: November 2009

Aa2

New York State Bridge Authority NY

Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority NY

Aa3

Bay Area Toll Authority CA

Florida (State of) Turnpike System FL

Harris County Toll Road Authority TX

Illinois State Toll Highway Authority IL

Maine Turnpike Authority ME

Maryland Transportation Authority MD

Massachusetts Turnpike Authority – Western Turnpike MA

Ohio Turnpike Commission OH

Oklahoma Transportation Authority OK

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission PA

West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority WV

A1

Orange County Transportation Authority CA

Delaware River and Bay Authority DE

Florida Department of Transportation – Sunshine Skyway FL

Florida Department of Transportation – Alligator Alley FL

New York State Thruway Authority NY

Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority FL

Kansas Turnpike Authority KS

New Hampshire (State of) Turnpike Enterprise NH

A2

Dulles Toll Road Authority VA

North Texas Tollway Authority TX

Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission LA

Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission PA

McAllen (City of) TX

Laredo (City of) TX

Thousand Islands Bridge Authority NY

A3

Lee (County of) FL

Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority FL

Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority FL

New Jersey Turnpike Authority NJ

South Jersey Transportation Authority NJ

Delaware River Port Authority PA

Cameron (County of) TX

Baa1

Central Texas Turnpike System TX

Eagle Pass Toll Bridge System TX

Chesapeake (City of) Toll Facility VA

Baa2

E-470 Public Highway Authority CO

Del Rio (City of) TX

Massachusetts Turnpike Authority – Metropolitan Highway System MA

Baa3

Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency CA

Central Texas Regional Mobility TX

North Carolina Toll Road Authority NC

Ba2

San Joaquin Hills TCA CA
B3   
Santa Rosa Bay Bridge Authority FL