ISTHA

AcronymDefinition
ISTHAIllinois State Toll Highway Authority
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The rating further reflects ISTHA's prudent debt management with strong historical and projected debt service coverage ratios (DSCR) with a major capital program underway.
While ISTHA has full legal authority to adjust toll rates and has demonstrated in the recent past a willingness to implement significant increases when necessary, future toll increases beyond those currently approved are uncertain.
ISTHA is in the seventh year of its 15-year, $14.3 billion MOVE Illinois capital program.
Further, the ISTHA has taken steps to stabilize its capital structure evidenced by reducing its variable rate exposure to approximately 19% of aggregate debt and fully hedging its interest costs through swaps with multiple financial counterparties, all rated at least 'A' category by Fitch, with the exception of Deutsche Bank (BBB+/Negative).
Although ISTHA has not conducted a formal study, e-mails and calls to the customer input line indicate that drivers greatly approve of travel time information and will complain when a nonincident-related message is posted when travel time information normally is available.
Van Velzen will end his week in hiding in a few days' time and appear on television in a deal brokered by Istha.
The closest Fitch-rated large expressway network peers include Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA, AA/Stable) and Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFEA, A/Stable), despite a significantly larger annual volume and toll revenue base for ISTHA. The authority has higher coverage and lower leverage than CFEA but lower coverage and higher leverage and capital needs when compared to HCTRA, which largely explains its rating relative to these peers.
Fitch views ISTHA's debt management as prudent even with a major capital program underway, as illustrated by its strong historical and projected debt service coverage ratios (DSCR).
Chicago: Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AA-' rating to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority's (ISTHA) approximately $300 million of toll highway senior revenue bonds, series 2017A.
DEMONSTRATED RATE-MAKING FLEXIBILITY (Revenue Risk: Price - Stronger): While ISTHA has full legal authority to adjust toll rates and has demonstrated in the recent past a willingness to implement significant increases when necessary, future toll increases beyond those currently approved are uncertain.
LARGE CAPITAL PLAN PARTIALLY DEBT FUNDED (Infrastructure Development/Renewal - Midrange): ISTHA is in the sixth year of its 15-year, $14.3 billion MOVE Illinois capital program.
Further, the ISTHA has taken steps to stabilize its capital structure evidenced by reducing its variable rate exposure to approximately 20% of aggregate debt and fully hedging its interest costs through swaps with multiple financial counterparties, all rated at least 'A' category by Fitch, with the exception of Deutsche Bank ('BBB+'/Stable).