Texas highway P3 gets ratings upgrade

The private activity bonds (PABs) underpinning the North Tarrant Expressway P3 have been given an upgrade by ratings agency Moody’s thanks to a strong performance on the open segments.

North Tarrant Expressway

Moody’s has upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3 the ratings assigned to NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3’s senior secured debt, including $928m of PABs, and its subordinate TIFIA loan that has accreted to about $618m outstanding.

The ratings agency said the improved rating was in part down to better than originally forecast revenue performance on the existing open Segments 3A/3B since 2018.

Furthermore, Moody’s said continued construction progress had been seen on Segment 3C and continued confidence that it will move into operation by September 2023.

Traffic and revenue have rebounded strongly from the pandemic lows, Moody’s added.

“We expect strong demand growth to continue, especially once the 3C extension opens next year and we have updated our forecast for performance accordingly. As a result, we now forecast stepwise higher financial metrics than originally forecast.”

The Cintra-led NTE Mobility Partners consortium completed the refinancing of the North Tarrant Express toll road in December 2018.