After months of negotiations, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Administration has reached agreement with financial institution UBS that will save the Commonwealth an estimated $71 million.
Due to five risky financial transactions – so-called "swaptions" – entered into by the Turnpike Authority in 2001, the Authority was at direct risk this year of having to pay UBS $261 million. Governor Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo passed historic transportation reform that improved the Authority's bond rating, negating the need to pay $190 million of that amount in July. While four of the five swaps were cured immediately, a fifth was at risk of being terminated by UBS, potentially costing the Commonwealth $71 million.
Under the terms of the deal negotiated by the Administration and signed with UBS, however, the July rating upgrade of the Turnpike Authority's MHS senior bonds to A- will be sufficient to prevent termination of the fifth swap.
"Today's announcement is another example of the progress we have been able to make as a result of transportation reform,” said incoming Transportation Secretary and MassDot CEO Jeff Mullan. “I want to thank Governor Patrick, my colleagues at the Turnpike Authority, EOT and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, as well as the legislature for working with us to provide a more stable financial footing for the new Massachusetts DOT."
The rating upgrades were a result of the sweeping transportation reform that called for consolidation of the state’s fragmented transportation assets into a coordinated new entity called the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Visit the MassDOT information center.
Plan Ahead: Holiday Weekend Travel posted on Apr 16
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead, travel safely, and use public transportation where possible during the upcoming holiday weekend. Heavy traffic is expected due to Easter Sunday observances and Patriot’s Day/Marathon Monday, April 21. The heaviest traffic congestion on I-90 during busy holiday weekends is …Continue Reading Plan Ahead: Holiday Weekend Travel
Freight Rail Grants Announced posted on Apr 14
The Patrick Administration today announced the awarding of seven grants totaling $2.5 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2014 Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP). The IRAP funding for the seven projects is being matched by more than $1.9 million in private sector …Continue Reading Freight Rail Grants Announced
South Coast Rail: Bridge Replacement Public Hearings posted on Apr 14
MassDOT will host Design Public Hearings in Fall River and New Bedford on the 25% design of four bridge replacements along the future South Coast Rail route. The bridge replacements will provide fast and tangible benefits to help expanding freight service and will also be …Continue Reading South Coast Rail: Bridge Replacement Public Hearings