With the receipt of investment grade ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) is moving forward with the proposed refinancing of outstanding debt issued in 1999 – a plan that was approved by the F/ETCA Board of Directors on October 10.
The Preliminary Official Statement was released on November 21 and the bonds are scheduled to be sold the week of December 9.
The refinancing is a good financial step that takes advantage of low interest rates to lower debt payments and it will allow for fewer and lower toll rate increases in the future. Lower toll rates mean less congestion on free alternatives and improved traffic circulation, which is important for regional mobility and recovery of the local economy.
“This is good news for commuters and recognizes the economic recovery that is occurring in Orange County and the surrounding area,” said Neil Peterson, CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies. “The refinance plan provides the agency with greater flexibility to withstand future economic downturns which is the prudent thing to do.”
The F/ETCA manages and operates State Routes 133, 241 and 261. Traffic and revenue on the 24 miles of roadway have been growing as the Orange County economy has strengthened. For the first four months of the fiscal year (July through October), traffic has increased 2.8 percent compared to the similar period in 2012 and revenue is up 7.6 percent.