$3.1B in Pa. Turnpike bonds downgraded by Moody's

$3.1B in Pa. Turnpike bonds downgraded by Moody's amid lackluster traffic and revenue growth

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service is downgrading the ratings on about $3.1 billion in Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission bonds.

Moody's said Wednesday that it downgraded the bonds' rating from A1 from Aa3.

It says the move reflects the turnpike commission's need for higher-than-expected annual toll increases and more borrowing because of traffic and revenue growth that is lagging a consultant's forecasts.

A lower rating could mean higher borrowing costs.

Turnpike chief executive Mark Compton says the decision wasn't a surprise and is similar to other ratings agencies' actions. Compton says the agency's total debt load is now $7.5 billion.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the downgrade supports changing a 2007 law and passing a comprehensive transportation funding bill.

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