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NY Thruway's Credit Outlook 'Negative'

Standard and Poor's maintains Thruway's bond rating, but lowers credit outlook

The New York State Thruway Authority's bond rating remains at an A+ after a Tuesday assessment—but the agency's credit outlook took a hit, seeing a downgrade from "stable" to "negative."

Standard & Poor's (S&P), the financial rating service that handed down the appraisal, said the ambiguity surrounding played a role in the decision. The $5.2 billion project setting the stage for construction, but no specific methods of tackling the price tag have been hammered out.

NYSTA officials have said toll hikes and toll-backed bonds are possibilities for financing the project, which is slated to be complete by 2017.

(For more on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, click here.)

Howard Milstein, chairman of the NYSTA, sounded off Tuesday on replacing the agency's past, poor decisions with sound plans moving forward.

"Using the direction of the independent financial report we recently received, we will continue working to correct the short-sighted decisions of the past and prepare for the future," he said.

Milstein also expressed confidence in the NYSTA.

"[We] appreciate confirmation of our existing A+ rating, which indicates we have a 'strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to adverse economic conditions and changes in circumstances,'" he said. "Indeed, our recent actions have set the Thruway on a sound fiscal foundation for the future for the first time in two decades and confirm that we are ready, willing and able to make the major investments needed in the future."

Francis T McVetty June 15, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Marsha, could you make that report [New Soil tests show location of proposed bridge won't work anyway ]available to us? Haven't seen or heard of this before.
John Gromada June 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM
For further perspective on what they're planning on spending on a new bridge, it's about as much as was just spent on the new levee system protecting the entire city of New Orleans.
John Taggart June 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM
The thing was built cut rate at the time. My point is that 5 billion is less than a drop in the bucket to this federal government. The mega banks that got over 300 billion, paid it back in a year with interest, but NY can't get 5 bil for a bridge this important this close to NYC.... Dosen't make sense. It is as big and necessary as the levee at New Orleans. Bigger, it connects the two halves of New York.
Francis T McVetty June 16, 2012 at 05:57 PM
John and the levee system wasn't done right either for all that money. The city is BELOW sea level and SINKING everyday. What a waste of taxpayer money.
John Taggart June 16, 2012 at 06:48 PM
It was low income housing. At the bottom of a dam. Bad idea 9 ways to sunday.

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