Port Authority gives $32B capital plan for NYC construction projects green light

Cheryl Sanders
February 17, 2017

The board of the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey voted Thursday to authorize initial planning for a replacement for its Midtown Manhattan bus terminal, along with more than $32 billion in construction work for the decade ahead. "I'm also convinced that if we are able to spend the $3.5 billion in this plan during the first 10 years, there's no way that it won't be completed".

"We believe this narrow focus is short-sided and may very well delay the project, which everybody is very anxious to get done", she said. "I urge the Port Authority Commissioners to allocate the necessary funds to address this problem before it becomes a crisis, and I invite our residents to make their voices heard".

New Jersey commissioners and lawmakers had pushed for the $70 million in planning funds for the bus terminal as a condition for allowing the 10-year plan to advance. "We strongly support the Port Authority's continuing plans to invest in public sector transportation projects that are good for the region and good for those who live and work here", said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "We are told we can not increase the number of buses due primarily to the lack of capacity at the Port Authority".

John Degnan, Port Authority chairman, considered the vote an important step in the facility's proper design and planning process.

$10 billion have been allocated towards several trans-Hudson tunnels and bridges. "If we can't solve that, then maybe we ought to seriously start thinking about unwinding this agency because having each state fend for itself is no different than what's happening now".

The Trans-Hudson rail tunnel will also move forward courtesy a $2.7 billion allocation.

"This is the largest ever commitment of capital by the Port Authority to the region in its 96-year history", said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye.

The behavior "underscores the Hatfield and McCoy nature of how this agency operates", said John Wisniewski, a New Jersey assemblyman and candidate for governor. All projects remain subject to Board authorization processes, and, before they proceed, are subject to a rigorous "gates" review process before they proceed that look at agency revenue and the ability to finance them.

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