The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a $7.9 billion spending plan for 2016 that includes $1.2 billion for debt service.

The fiscal proposal passed by the board of commissioners on Dec. 10 includes a $3 billion operating budget and $3.7 billion for capital expenses. The additional $1.2 billion in debt service includes roughly $1.1 billion related to its projected $21 billion of outstanding consolidated bonds. The Port Authority issued $3.3 billion in consolidated bonds in 2015 that involved $1.3 billion to fund capital projects and $2 billion toward refunding.

The operating budget is a 2.4% increase over the current spending plan and includes funds to phase in the final operating components of World Trade Center. Highlights of the capital budget are $952 million for tunnel and bridge improvements and capital enhancements at the Port Authority's midtown bus terminal as well as $978 million for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

"These budgets provide critical funds for our regional transportation network, while maintaining the kind of fiscal discipline that our customers deserve," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler in a statement. "As we update our ten-year capital plan next year, we will continue to make the necessary investments in our bridges, tunnels, airports, seaports and PATH."

The Port Authority is rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

 

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