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Turnpike Info: 877-682-9433
 

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014
Erin Courtney
513-2982
ecourtney@maineturnpike.com


Rating Agency Affirms Turnpike’s Aa3 Credit on Outstanding Bonds

Moody’s Investors Service Stable Outlook Applies to $412 million Rated Debt

PORTLAND, Maine – Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the Maine Turnpike Authority’s outstanding revenue bonds at Aa3 with a stable outlook. Turnpike officials indicate the rating maintains the Maine Turnpike’s place among the highest rated toll roads nationwide.
 
The ratings and outlook are supported by the turnpike’s continued solid financial operations, active financial management, and the expectation that traffic and revenue will remain stable beyond the short term. Moody’s cited the transparent and defined arrangement with the Maine Department of Transportation for sharing of Turnpike revenue, a well accepted 2012 toll increase with no projected need for additional revenue, and a tightly controlled capital program increasingly being funded more from revenue than from debt.
 
“Moody’s rating reinforces the fact that the Maine Turnpike Authority is in good financial shape,” said Turnpike Executive Director Peter Mills. “At this point, the only two reasons to issue new bonds is to help finance the reconstruction of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge or refinance our current bonds at a lower rate.”
 
The rating applies to approximately $412 million of outstanding turnpike revenue bonds. Bond proceeds are used to finance necessary turnpike capital repairs and safety improvements, including the rehabilitation and replacement of numerous bridges and modifications to interchanges.
 
The Maine Turnpike Authority was created in 1941 by the state legislature as an independent state agency with the stipulation that turnpike debt does not constitute an obligation of the state. Tolls are the only source of revenue to maintain and operate the Turnpike and pay back bondholders who loan private capital to finance improvements and major reconstruction projects. No federal or state tax dollars used on the Maine Turnpike.
 
Nearly two-thirds of turnpike revenue comes from out-of-state sources.
 

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