[Editor: This is the text of a March 30, 2017, news release from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.]
Triangle Expressway Performance Enables Refinancing That Could Benefit Drivers
RALEIGH – Due to the Triangle Expressway’s strong performance, this week the N.C. Turnpike Authority took advantage of favorable market conditions to refinance a portion of the project’s outstanding bonds. This will result in incremental savings of nearly $94 million for the remaining life of the project.
“I applaud our team’s efforts to identify ways to save money and still provide a high level of service to our customers,” said Turnpike Authority Executive Director Beau Memory. “The Turnpike Authority will continue to look for innovative ways to deliver transportation infrastructure to North Carolina.”
Investors are impressed with the strong performance to date on the project, which has resulted in a credit rating upgrade from Standard & Poor’s. Since the Triangle Expressway opened in 2011, its revenues are 26 percent above projections.
The current toll rate schedule will not change as a result of this issuance, but if the project continues to perform as projected, potential benefits down the road could include:
- Reducing the state’s contributions for Complete 540;
- Giving the N.C. Turnpike Authority Board toll rate flexibility in the future; or
- Paying off the project debt more quickly, therefore taking tolls off the road earlier.
Revenue raised through the tolling process is used to help pay off the bonds sold to fund the $1 billion highway, as well as overall maintenance including road repairs, signs, mowing and winter weather preparation and response.