For Immediate Release: 1/26/24
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | email@example.com
THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES S&P UPGRADES THRUWAY’S LONG-TERM FINANCIAL RATINGS, AFFIRMING CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO FINANCIAL RESILIENCY
S & P Upgrades Authority's General Revenue Bonds to 'A+' From 'A'’
Moody’s Improves Thruway’s Outlook from Stable to Positive
The New York State Thruway Authority today announced upgraded long-term financial ratings from S&P Global Ratings. The upgrades reflect the Thruway Authority’s continuing commitment to financial resiliency. S&P cited that the upgrade reflects NYSTA's financial resiliency and recently approved toll rate increases as factors in the rating upgrades, as well as NYSTA continuing to maintain some of the lowest toll rates in the country.
In its January 8 report, S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating on the New York State Thruway Authority's (NYSTA) general revenue bonds to 'A+' from 'A', its long-term rating on NYSTA's general revenue junior indebtedness obligations (JIOs) to 'A' from 'A-’ and assigned an ‘A+' rating to NYSTA's pro forma $1 billion series P general revenue bonds. The outlook on all ratings is stable.
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Frank G. Hoare, Esq. said, “The upgraded long-term financial ratings by S&P as well as the positive rating outlook by Moody’s affirms the Thruway Authority’s efforts to solidify and maintain a stable financial plan that ensures the continued viability of the Thruway system. The multi-year toll adjustment that went into effect in January 2024 is leading to an increase in planned investments into the Thruway’s Capital Program that will modernize the nearly 70-year-old Thruway system.”
Thruway Authority Board of Directors Chair Joanne M. Mahoney said, “I am pleased to work with Thruway Authority leadership, who are committed to building upon significant investments into our roads and bridges, and our transportation infrastructure that will provide drivers with a safe and reliable highway while meeting the Thruway’s operational needs. I would also like to commend Thruway Authority staff for developing and maintaining a responsible fiscal budget that is balanced and focuses on improving the Thruway system for generations to come.”
In addition to the S&P Global Ratings upgrades, Moody’s Investors Service revised the New York State Thruway Authority’s outlook to positive from stable, affirmed the A1 rating of the outstanding general revenue bonds and the A2 rating of the outstanding general revenue junior indebtedness obligations. At the same time, Moody’s assigned an A1 rating (positive outlook) to the Authority’s proposed General Revenue Bonds, Series P for approximately $1.1 billion. Moody’s notes the outlook revision was driven by the recently enacted multi-year toll increase which will support the Authority’s financial strength and extensive Capital Plan.
INCREASE IN INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT INVESTMENTS
As announced in November 2023, the Thruway Authority is using the toll adjustment that went into effect in January 2024 to increase its planned investment in capital projects by nearly $500 million or 25 percent over the next five years.
The Thruway Authority has committed to invest $2.4 billion over the next five years for Thruway Authority Capital Program projects across its 570-mile system statewide.
The increased investment is projected to lead to work on approximately half of the Thruway’s more than 2,800 lane miles as well as projects on approximately 90 of Thruway’s 817 bridges. Bridge work will include replacements, rehabs, paintings, joint replacements and vertical clearance improvements.
FEDERAL GRANT APPLICATIONS
Although an eligible recipient under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Thruway Authority is not receiving any portion of the $13.5 billion of formula funding obligated to New York. However, the Authority is pursuing grant funding opportunities under the BIL.
To date, the Thruway Authority has been selected for three Federal grants totaling $23.7 million. The grants include a $21 million grant to supplement the cost of a second project on the Castleton-On-Hudson Bridge to replace the eastbound bridge deck and address steel repairs and maintenance safety features, a $1.5 million grant to fund the Authority’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) drone program, which launched in 2021, and a $1.2 million Safe Streets and Roads federal grant to develop a comprehensive safety action plan for the 570-mile Thruway corridor statewide.
Since passage of the BIL, the Authority has prepared and submitted comprehensive funding applications. An updated list of applications and results can be found at thruway.ny.gov.
TEN YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN
The Thruway Authority’s 10-year Strategic Plan, released in November 2023, is a roadmap that is firmly aligned with the Authority’s Mission, Vision, Guiding and Operating Principles. The goals identified in the Strategic Plan will streamline operations and prioritize the Authority’s work to allocate resources more cost-effectively over the next decade. The ambitious goals ensure the Authority continues to operate and maintain one of the safest, low-cost superhighways in the nation.
The Authority’s long-term growth and success is centered around its operational objectives including safety and infrastructure investment goals. Safety goals represent the cornerstone for Authority staff and the traveling public. A safe road has fewer delays and lane closures, decreases crashes, and optimizes how work is performed through technology including the use of drones. The infrastructure integrity goals cover both physical and IT infrastructure, ensuring high quality asset management and long-term durability. All of these priorities ensure the viability of the Thruway’s 570-mile superhighway by maximizing toll revenue to address our aging bridges and roadway.
The Thruway Authority’s Strategic Plan demonstrates commitment to:
- Optimize resources to meet current and future service delivery needs
- Explore new revenue sources to fund capital and operating needs
- Deliver services that continuously improve the customer’s experience
- Foster and promote teamwork that is consistent with operating principles
- Focus and support systematic, data-driven decisions
- Create an environment for diversity and inclusion to flourish