The Triborough Bridge connecting Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge last week, but don’t look for TBTA — Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority — debt to be renamed “RFKBTA” bonds.
The new name honors the New York senator and former U.S. attorney general who was assassinated 40 years ago during his bid to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. The 72-year-old bridge and the TBTA are legacies of Robert Moses, the controversial builder who transformed New York City.
The TBTA became part of the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority when that agency was created in 1968. The TBTA is now known as MTA Bridges and Tunnels, though TBTA remains its legal name.
“The term TBTA comes up these days only in connection with financing and bonding matters,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said in an e-mail. “In terms of financial and bonding contexts, it will remain the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.”
The TBTA sold $1.37 billion of bonds this year and has $9.81 billion of bonds outstanding on its senior and subordinate debt resolutions. Next year, the authority plans to sell $842.1 million of bonds on its senior resolution and $476.9 million on its subordinate resolution, according to the MTA’s proposed 2009 budget.
TBTA bonds are backed by tolls collected on seven bridges and two tunnels within New York City: the RFK, Throgs Neck, Verrazano-Narrows, Bronx-Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridges; and the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens Midtown tunnels.