Governor ANNOUNCES TIFIA LOAN APPROVAL FOR NEW TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE: $1.58 BILLION.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications with information from WPCNR. October 31, 2013:

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the award of a $1.58 billion  TIFIA  loan to the Thruway Authority for partial funding of the new Tappan Zee Bridge  at about 2 P.M. this afternoon:

“Approval of New York State’s request for this loan is great news for the tens of thousands of commuters who depend on the Tappan Zee every day, for communities in the Lower Hudson Valley, and for our entire state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is a huge win for New York State, creating thousands of jobs, and an endorsement of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in our history. It shows that despite over a decade of delay, New York can continue to build big. I thank Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for his hard work helping New York secure this loan.”

The following is a statement from Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino regarding the federal government’s approval of a $1.58 billion loan to help finance construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge:

“I congratulate Governor Cuomo on this good news. The next step is how do we finance the rest of the bridge and the mass transit improvements to and from the bridge, while keeping tolls as low as possible. The governor has my full support to help the state come up with the best financing plans possible.”

The approval comes three days after Standard & Poor’s downgraded New York State Thruway Authority credit rating from A+ to A.

The S&P News Release on the downgrade said: “The downgrade reflects our view of the NYSTA’s (New York State Thruway Authority) significant increase in leverage and reliance  on frequent rate increases to maintain margins.

Joseph Pezzimenti, S&P Credit Analyst said: “Although we have a general idea of how much tolls will be increased to fund the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge and ongoing capital needs for the rest of the (thruway) system, the combination of the lack of a specific tolling plan and the potential for lower traffic levels at a time when the NYSTA will incread its leverage significantly led to the the downgrade.”

The lowering of the rating is expected to add millions to the cost of the thruway borrowing the  balance  of $2.7 BILLION more  to build the $4.2 Billion bridge, including loan costs.

The Federal Highway Agency took approximately one year to approve the loan during which time the TIFIA interest rate for a 35-year loan went from 3.1% a year to 3.62% as of today.“Approval of New York State’s request for this loan is great news for the tens of thousands of commuters who depend on the Tappan Zee every day, for communities in the Lower Hudson Valley, and for our entire state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is a huge win for New York State, creating thousands of jobs, and an endorsement of one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in our history. It shows that despite over a decade of delay, New York can continue to build big. I thank Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for his hard work helping New York secure this loan.”

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