Media & Public Relations

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Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

October 30 , 2007


PA Turnpike Makes Second Payment For State’s Transportation Network

Turnpike Commission has provided nearly $292 million
for roads, bridges and transit to date.

HARRISBURG, PA (10/30/2007)-- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials today delivered a $229.2 million payment to PennDOT that will expedite the repair of roads and bridges across the Commonwealth and help provide funding for 73 transit agencies statewide.

This is the second payment made in accordance with Act 44 (a $62.5 million payment was made Aug. 7). Since the measure was signed into law in July, the Turnpike has provided $291.7 million to be invested in the state’s transportation infrastructure. In all, the Turnpike will provide $750 million over the next year alone — with average payments equaling $1.67 billion annually over the next five decades.

“This latest payment is proof that Act 44 continues to pay dividends for the Commonwealth by funding our efforts to ensure a safe transportation network and thus a vibrant, growing economy,” said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. “We’ve been charged with the responsibility of working closely with PennDOT to implement this groundbreaking statute, and we’ve made great progress.”

The Turnpike and PennDOT entered into this 50-year, I-80 lease on Oct. 13 by which the Turnpike will assume management and maintenance responsibilities for the 311-mile highway. In addition, the two agencies jointly filed a formal Federal Highway Administration application seeking permission to toll I-80, which will generate $2 billion over 10 years to maintain and improve the interstate. The Turnpike last week announced it will host a series of eight public meetings across the I-80 corridor beginning Nov. 7.

Under Act 44, the Turnpike will transfer to PennDOT $83.3 billion over 50 years. Based on estimated traffic and revenue growth projections, the Turnpike anticipates generating an additional $33 billion for an overall investment of $116.3 billion toward I-80 improvements and other ground-transportation projects.

Act 44 calls on several funding streams — including increased tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Turnpike revenue bonds and I-80 toll revenues — to support transportation in the state. As a result of its high credit ratings and favorable credit reports, the Turnpike is able to borrow funds at a lower rate and thus provide more capital-project funding.

“The Turnpike is able to step up and provide payments almost immediately thanks to the strong financial position we’re in,” Brimmeier noted. “Because Wall Street recognizes the Turnpike as the third most efficient and creditworthy toll agency nationwide, we are ideally positioned to promptly address Pennsylvania’s transportation-funding crisis.”

Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have all given the Turnpike strong, investment-grade ratings. In fact, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings recently ranked the Turnpike as among the most efficient and creditworthy toll agencies in America. A recent Fitch report stated that “the [Turnpike’s] solid financial performance is a significant credit strength.”

Upon federal authorization, tolls would be collected beginning mid-2010. The rate would mirror existing Turnpike rates. In the first ten years, the Turnpike will spend approximately $1 billion to operate and maintain I-80 — and invest $1 billion in additional I-80 improvements such as bridge repairs, truck-climbing lanes, repaving and other work designed to make the road safer.

For more information regarding Act 44, please visit