Tuesday, February 21, 2012

E-470 releases 2011 traffic and toll revenue results

Traffic reaches second-highest level ever; toll revenues meet growing bond debt service requirements

AURORA, CO - The E-470 Public Highway Authority has released year-end traffic and toll revenue figures showing toll transactions rose last year from 51.3 million to 52.1 million, making 2011 the third straight year of traffic growth and reaching a level second only to the 54.1 million total in 2007. The 52.1 million transactions were 101 percent of the projection for the year.

Increased traffic, coupled with a 2011 toll increase that raised the premium paid by License Plate Toll customers, resulted in a $13.4 million rise in toll revenues from $94.3 million to $107.7 million. Along with the increase in revenue, E-470 was able to save seven percent, or almost $2 million, in operating costs for the same period.

According to Joe Donahue, E-470's finance director, the 14 percent growth in toll revenues was sufficient to meet E-470's financial obligations, which included a $65.2 million debt service payment to bondholders. E-470 has $1.5 billion in outstanding bond debt. The debt service obligation each year increases by an average of $6.5 million until 2020, when it levels off at $125 million annually until final maturity in 2041.

Donahue said the rise in revenues also helped boost the capital construction fund, enabling, among other roadway resurfacing and safety improvements, the complete $14.5 million reconstruction in 2012 of 2.5 miles of the oldest section of E-470, which opened in 1991.

"In addition to meeting the growing bond debt obligation, the increase in toll revenues helps keep the road at the high level of quality and safety that customers expect when they pay tolls," he said.

The 75-mph E-470 toll road runs along the eastern perimeter of the Denver metropolitan area. The road is financed, constructed, operated and governed by the E-470 Public Highway Authority, which is composed of eight local governments: Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, and the municipalities of Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Parker and Thornton.

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