Jonathan Lanser over at the OC Register has a story up that low revenues (on top of already low revenues) will likely lead to tolls being extended six years for the 73 toll road, which runs between San Juan Capistrano and Newport Beach.
From his story:
The managers and political directors of the long-suffering thoroughfare have come up with a plan that essentially gives the road’s government operators — Transportation Corridor Agencies — financial breathing room in return for extending the maturities of bonds that helped build the western Orange County bypass.
Yes, the 73 wants a loan mod!
Even before the Great Recession hit us all, the 73 was in trouble. It never drew the crowd of drivers originally envisioned, and needed a serious financial makeover nearly a decade ago: what amounted to a $120 million loan from its financially healthier toll-road relative, the Foothill-Eastern. That fix could not weather the recent economic storm that has driven traffic on the 73 back to levels last seen in 1999.
The 73′s bond-funded construction — started in 1993 and refinanced in 1997 — is primarily repaid through tolls and fees on new developments that benefit from the road. Creators of Orange County’s toll roads promised to halt tolls once all debts are paid off. Originally, for the 73 that was supposed to be 2036. Now, if the restructuring plan sails through, it will be scheduled as 2042!