The New York State Thruway Authority last week passed a $1.2 billion 2010 operating budget with no plans to issue general revenue bonds in 2010, the third year in row it will not sell long-term debt on its own credit.

The Thruway sold $700 million of bond anticipation notes in July to partially fund its capital program. The Bans will be fixed out when the authority markets $1.12 billion of bonds in 2011. The budget also projects the sale of $471 million of bonds in 2012 and $431 million in 2013.

The authority plans $485.9 million of capital spending next year.

The recession hurt traffic volume on the Thruway, but that has begun to recover, according to a report by an outside consultant.

Toll revenues are projected to rise to $611.9 million in 2009, an 8.7% increase after toll hikes enacted last year. Next year’s toll revenue is expected to rise by an additional 4.7%, according to budget documents.

Debt service coverage on the authority’s approximately $2.2 billion of outstanding revenue bonds will increase next year to 1.79 times coverage from 1.68 times, according to budget projections. That coverage will decrease in later years to a projected 1.08 times by 2013.

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