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ORLANDO-ORANGE EXPRESSWAY $595 MILLION REFUNDING BONDS 'A-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of Florida, Orlando- Orange County Expressway Authority's $474 million Senior Lien Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series of 1993 are rated A-' by Fitch. This series will refund all outstanding senior lien bonds. In addition, the State of Florida, Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority's $121 million Junior Lien Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series of 1993 are rated A-' by Fitch. The rating also applies to $275 million outstanding parity junior lien bonds. Under the Junior Lien Resolution, the authority covenanted to issue additional senior lien bonds solely for refunding purposes or up to $110 million for specific purposes. The credit trend is stable. These issues are expected to be sold through negotiation next week by a syndicate led by PaineWebber Inc.
 The refundings will result in approximately $17 million-$18 million in net present value savings and will both conform and amend the senior and junior bond resolutions to provide additional project financing and pricing flexibility to the authority. The authority's current tollway system consists of: the Bee Line Expressway, built in 1965; the East- West Expressway, built in 1970 with east and west extensions finished in 1989 and 1990, respectively; and the Central Florida GreeneWay, which includes the former Eastern Beltway and the under-construction Southern Connector that should be completed on schedule and on budget by July 1993.
 The rating reflects the solid historical debt service coverage of the senior lien debt by net toll revenues ranging from 1.37x-1.50x over the past five years and the additional layer of protection afforded bondholders by the "as needed" pledge of 80 percent of the county's share of the state's two-cent gasoline tax. However, the recent recession has had a dampening effect on toll revenue growth, and traffic projections for the Southern Connector were revised downward by as much as 30% because projections were based in part on development that has not yet occurred. Nonetheless, projected debt service coverage for aggregate debt service on both the senior and junior lien bonds remains solid, due in part in the early years to the positive effects of this refunding.
 While the authority has the sole ability to raise toll rates, the East-West Expressway's rates currently are the nation's highest, at approximately 14 cents per mile, and a certain elasticity of demand has been demonstrated at these levels during the recession. To its credit, the authority is experimenting with lower toll rates on that road and is committed simultaneously to a more consumer and bondholder oriented approach. Also, the authority recently implemented a more rigorous approach to long-term capital planning.
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: Andrea R. Bozzo of Fitch, 212-908-0515/


CO: Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

WB -- NY051 -- 4491 06/02/93 13:07 EDT
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Date:Jun 2, 1993
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