New York Port Authority to spend $32bn on planes, trains and automobiles

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last week approved a $32.2bn, 10-year investment plan, which it says will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and stimulate billions in additional economic activity in the region.

John Degnan, the chair of the port authority, said: "There’s no question that the region’s transportation needs are growing at a far greater rate than the resources that are available to address them. For that reason, this board has spent tireless hours coming to a consensus on how our resources will be spent to benefit the region and the customers we serve.

"We have developed a plan that invests in the most critical projects including critical improvements to trans-Hudson capacity, while providing the flexibility to make future changes."

The major items in schedule, the largest ever put together by the authority, include an $11.6bn redevelopment programme to modernise the region’s airports, including the $4bn LaGuardia Terminal B replacement, the largest transportation public-private partnership (PPP) in the US.

Work to rebuild the Goethals Bridge will begin next year (Dagrecco)

It also covers the renewal of Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport and the redevelopment of John F Kennedy International Airport. These schemes are expected to pull in several billions in private investment.

Around $10bn will be invested in making it easier to cross the Hudson River. Projects will include the $1.5bn replacement of the Goethals Bridge, scheduled for next year, which is being done through what the authority says is the first surface transportation PPP in northeast America. This crossing connects Staten Island in New York City to Elizabeth in New Jersey. It also provides funding to complete the rebuilding of the Bayonne Bridge, a $1.6bn project that will allow modern ships to pass underneath it.

Another $3.5bn will be spent on replacing the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and a little less than $2bn is earmarked for the refurbishment of the George Washington Bridge between upper Manhattan and the Fort Lee district of New Jersey, the most comprehensive work undertaken in the structure’s 85-year history.

New rail tunnels are planned as part of the northeastern corridor, seen here passing under New York’s post office (Jim Henderson)

The plan includes the rebuilding of ageing Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail stations and the upgrade of other critical rail infrastructure. The PATH network will be extended from its terminus at Newark Penn Station to the Newark Liberty International Airport Air Link Station. Another planned extension is AirTrain LaGuardia, which will provide air travellers with rail access to and from New York City for the first time.

For tunnels, the scheme allocates $2.7bn towards the trans-Hudson link between New York and New Jersey and Portal Bridge North projects. The contribution will pay debt service on expected borrowing by the Gateway Programme Development Corporation from low-interest federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans.

The authority estimates that the plan will create $20bn in total wages and $56bn in overall economic activity during its 2017-2026 lifespan.

Top image: The $4bn renewal of LaGuardia will be one of the largest items in the plan (Office of Governor Cuomo)

Further Reading:

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News