Fitch Ratings yesterday returned $2.1 billion of Massachusetts Turnpike Authority debt to negative watch after the authority on Tuesday postponed a toll increase set for this week that would have generated $100 million annually.

The rating agency on March 5 removed MassPike's $2.1 billion of Metropolitan Highway System bonds from negative watch and assigned a negative outlook to the debt after the February approval of a toll hike on March 29. Without the additional toll revenue, the authority will use an estimated $13 million from its $54 million cash-reserve fund to meet debt service costs and operating expenses for the rest of fiscal 2009, which ends June 30.

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