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Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority gets credit ratings boost, praise for “conservative approach”

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority’s financial outlook got a little brighter Tuesday after a major bond credit rating agency boosted its rating.

Moody’s Investors Service bumped the expressway authorities credit rating from A3 to A2 and said it expects the authority’s “conservative approach to undertaking additional projects and debt” to keep it stable.

“The upgrade to A2 reflects significant increases in traffic and revenues, which have broadened THEA’s traffic base by over 20 percent and driven meaningful improvements in financial margins and liquidity,” the report said.

The service also cited strong demand for the Selmon Expressway as well as the agency’s 2012 agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to repay prior operations and maintenance expenses after senior bonds, which gives THEA with more control over revenues.

THEA CEO Joe Waggoner said the increase is a sign of economic growth in the region and would “bolster the agency’s ability to deliver new transportation services.”

“As a major economic engine for our region, our financial stability helps ensure our ability to continue delivering a valued travel experience to Tampa Bay commuters and businesses, as we enhance our regional economic vitality and quality of life,” he said.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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