THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY CREATES 17,891 REGIONAL JOBS IN 2013

Date: Dec 30, 2013
Press Release Number: 146-2013

Jobs result from agency investment of more than $3.6 billion in transportation infrastructure; creating $4 billion in economic activity

As it continues to return to its core transportation mission, the Port Authority today announced that in 2013 the agency invested $2.8 billion on infrastructure projects and authorized more than $3.6 billion in projects at the airports, tunnels, bridges, seaport, PATH and the World Trade Center site in 2014 and beyond.

The investments approved by the Board in 2013, under the leadership of Governors Cuomo and Christie, will result in 17,891 direct and indirect job years, $1 billion in total wages and more than $4 billion in economic activity for the region.

“For more than 90 years, our mission has been clear – to build and operate some of the busiest, most critical transportation facilities in the world to foster regional mobility and economic growth,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Through the vision of our Board and the tireless work of our professional staff, we successfully met our mission in 2013. We put shovels in the ground in record time on the Bayonne Bridge project, and finalized a key operating agreement with Atlantic City International Airport that will allow us to leverage our aviation expertise to help that critical South Jersey facility grow over time. But more needs to be done, and we’ll go into 2014 with an equally ambitious plan to make sure our facilities can safely accommodate the hundreds of millions of people who use them each year.”

“From our Superstorm Sandy rebuilding efforts, to building a new Goethals Bridge in partnership with the private sector and raising the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge, completing One World Trade Center, and bringing the region’s airports into the 21st Century, the Port Authority will invest billions in our region’s infrastructure in 2014 and create tens of thousands of jobs,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “Working with the private sector, in the coming year we will continue to deliver infrastructure projects that will bring thousands of critical jobs to New York and New Jersey and billions of dollars in economic activity that will have long-term transportation benefits for the region."

The two most high profile projects authorized in 2013 were the $1.5 billion public-private partnership to replace the Goethals Bridge and the $1.29 billion program to raise the Bayonne Bridge to allow larger, post-Panama Canal ships to access our harbor.

On top of its planned expenditures, the agency also invested nearly $500 million to restore and replace World Trade Center infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. In addition, the agency authorized $50 million to allow for the removal of corrosive salt from PATH’s rails, equipment and tunnels resulting from the storm to ensure the long-term viability and reliability of the 43-mile system. Up to 90 percent of the PATH costs are expected to be reimbursed from $1.3 billion in recovery funding already awarded to PATH by the Federal Transit Administration.

In addition, the Port Authority also approved the selection of nationally renowned Legends Hospitality, LLC to develop and operate the observation deck on top of One World Trade Center, which will yield significant revenue that will be reinvested in the agency’s transportation facilities. The revenue will be a combination of fixed and variable rent, projected to be worth $875 million over the term of the 15-year lease.

Following are some of the other major transportation authorizations by the Board in 2014:

Aviation

Nearly $700 million was authorized for three major projects at LaGuardia Airport as part of the agency’s major undertaking to redevelop the airport’s infrastructure.

A $230.4 million project was authorized to design and build a 3,084-space garage on the west side of the planned $3.6 billion new Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport. The garage will replace an existing garage , which is being razed to provide some of the footprint for a new state-of-the-art Central Terminal Building at the airport. In addition, the Board authorized a $255 million project to modernize LaGuardia Airport’s aging infrastructure. The improvements will be made to the site, buildings and utilities to meet current operational needs and future passenger growth. The Board also approved $202.9 million at LaGuardia for a series of runway improvement projects at the airport, primarily the enhancing of existing platform decks for the airport’s two runways to accommodate two new arrestor beds.

At John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Port Authority moved ahead with Delta Airline’s $1.2 billion project in 2013 by approving Delta’s plans to spend $175 million for an 11-gate extension at the airport’s Terminal 4. The expansion allows Delta to relocate its Terminal 3 operations and some of its Terminal 2 operations to Terminal 4.

At Newark Liberty International Airport, the Board authorized a $97.3 million project to overhaul Runway 4L-22R and build four new taxiways to help reduce airplane ground delays. The runway, which measures 11,000 feet and handles about 200,000 flights annually, will be overhauled with asphalt repaving, repairs to concrete sections and replacement of electrical and lighting systems.

Work continued this year on the two major runways at Stewart International Airport. The $143.5 million project calls for the repaving and upgrading lighting systems on Runway 9-27 – one of the nation’s longest air strips at 11,817 feet – and Runway 16-34. A high-speed taxiway exit also is being added to Runway 9-27 to allow landing aircraft to exit the runway more quickly.

The Board also approved an operating agreement in March with the South Jersey Transportation Authority that allows the Port Authority to use its aviation expertise to help grow the airport’s business. Since the operating agreement was signed, United Airlines agreed to inaugurate service between the airport and the airline’s hubs in Chicago and Houston beginning in April 2014, providing South Jersey travelers with more transportation options.

Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals

As part of a $350 million program to rehabilitate various structural elements and approach roads to the George Washington Bridge, the Board authorized a $77.5 million project to replace the 70-year-old Palisades Interstate Parkway Helix, a key New Jersey approach to the George Washington Bridge. The helix is located in Fort Lee, N.J. and carries 7.4 million vehicles with 10.2 million passengers annually from the southbound roadway of the Palisades Interstate Parkway to the bridge.

At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, major initiatives continued in 2013 to revitalize the world’s busiest bus facility, including the recent acquisition of top-shelf tenants like Starbucks, PNC Bank and Cake Boss Café. The real estate deals allowed the Port Authority to secure millions in private sector funding that can be reinvested into the facility. In addition, the bus terminal added a major customer service amenity with the installation of WiFi in the South Wing concourse.

Port Commerce

The multimillion upgrade of the road network at the port’s New Jersey Marine Terminals continued this year with the authorization of a $105 million project to design, build and realign several key roads. The investment includes the design, construction and realignment of portions of five major access roads to port terminals: Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets and Doremus Avenue. It also includes the demolition and replacement of the Corbin Street Ramp, which has been the scene of accidents in the past three years.

In July, The Port Authority and New York Container Terminal finalized an extension of their lease agreement that keeps NYCT operating at Howland Hook in Staten Island through 2029. Under the terms of the lease extension, NYCT has committed capital investments over the life of the lease and the Port Authority has agreed to certain improvements to make additional capital improvements to the terminal. As part of the agreement, NYCT instituted a Bridge Toll Credit Program for all trucks serving the terminal for container pick-up or delivery. The program will reimburse to the truck company via their EZ Pass account a significant proportion of the tolls presently paid to access the terminal via Port Authority bridges. The lease extension keeps NYCT competitive and provides Staten Island’s largest private employer with the ability to grow its business in the future.

PATH

The Depression-era Harrison PATH rail station will be transformed into a 21st century glass-and-steel transit facility under a $256 million project authorized by the Board. The new PATH station will accommodate Harrison’s growing residential and commercial ridership needs, and also will serve the Red Bulls Arena, located adjacent to the station. The new station will allow for increased travel on the entire Newark-World Trade Center PATH line with the addition of longer platforms that can accommodate 10-car trains instead of the current 8-car limit.

CONTACT:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.