For Immediate Release
May 3, 2011
BRIDGE AUTHORITY TO SAVE OVER A MILLION: SEEKS UNDERWRITER
HGHLAND, NY – Potentially saving up to $2 million, the NYS Bridge Authority plans to take advantage of low interest rates to refinance bridge capital bonds.
“We’re looking at two opportunities,” said Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero. “We want to refinance the existing bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates in 2011 and we’re exploring the opportunity to finance the rebuilding of the south span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge in the near future.”
Capital Bonds are used for larger construction costs that have many years of useful service.
“We pay for day to day maintenance and regular inspections out of the toll revenues that motorists pay to insure a safe and low-cost bridge,” Ruggiero said. “We finance major work like multi-million dollar painting jobs and major roadway replacement by issuing bonds and paying them back over time through the same tolls.”
Ruggiero added that the Bridge Authority does not receive state or federal tax money for maintenance or operations and relies strictly on toll revenue for these expenses. The basic $1 toll is among the lowest in the nation for a self-supporting tolling entity.
The Authority will seek to refinance approximately $40 million in existing bonds. Most of the outstanding bonds are not callable until January 2012, meaning they cannot be refinanced until that date.
Plans for new financing will be used to rebuild the deck of the south span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. The project is expected to cost about $100 million and will take several years to complete.
Ruggiero noted “The deck will be about 35 years old when replaced. As the roadway gets older, maintenance costs increase and replacement is the most cost-effective way to insure the bridge remains safe and serves the community for many years to come.”
The potential for new bonds to finance the major capital reconstruction of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge will not be executed until the project is certain. A decision is expected in the next 12 months.
Ruggiero noted that the Bridge Authority has an excellent credit rating due to its strict control of finances and keeping its facilities well maintained.
For more information about the underwriting opportunity, visit the NYS Bridge Authority web site at www.nysba.net and for all of the latest news, business opportunities, and Authority updates please follow us on Twitter at @NYSBridge (https://twitter.com/#!/NYSBridge). You can also find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com) by searching for the “New York State Bridge Authority.”
Quick Facts about the New York State Bridge Authority
- The NYS 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.
- The Authority holds the highest bond rating given any public toll-transportation entity in the United States, reducing bond and annual costs.
- The $1 passenger vehicle toll for east-bound passage on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies (there is no toll for west-bound passage).
- Tolls today are actually lower, in real dollars, than they were in 1933 when the Authority began operations.