The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) has announced that credit rating agencies S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service affirmed the bi-state agency's bond ratings of A and A1 respectively.
The high ratings clear the way for DRBA to issue its $180 million Series 2019 Revenue Bonds on September 11.
"These bond rating reports reflect our organizational strength and steadfast commitment to fiscal responsibility," said DRBA Chief Financial Officer Victor Ferzetti. "We annually prepare a comprehensive financial plan that serves as the foundation for operating and capital budget decisions. We're pleased to have independent financial analysts affirm our overall approach to financial planning."
The ratings reflect both S&P and Moody's view of the following credit strengths:
- Ownership of critical transportation asset
- Strong competitive position versus alternative crossing routes
- Very strong liquidity and financial flexibility
- Strong financial performance, reflecting debt service coverage exceeding 2x
According to the S&P report, "The management team, in our opinion, has considerable expertise and
experience, with a long history of operating the Authority's major lines of business with consistent
results of outperforming budgets and forecasts."
The DRBA plans to use the proceeds from the bond issue to fund two years of the agency's Capital
Improvement Program (CIP). Some of the significant projects in this CIP at Delaware Memorial Bridge
and Cape May "“ Lewes Ferry include: Bridge Paint Removal and Recoating ($48.2 million); Suspension
Rope Replacement ($24.5 million); Bridge Steelwork Repairs ($40.5 million); Pin and Link Rehabilitation
on Both Structures of DMB ($19.7 million); Ship Collision Protection System ($45.2 million); Bridge Deck
Repair ($50 million); Replace Transfer Bridges at the Cape May "“ Lewes Ferry ($7.8 million); and Ferry
Repowering Program ($9.5 million).