Date: Oct 19, 2006
Press Release Number: 82-2006
After authorizing the largest contribution to date toward the Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel of up to $2 billion in July, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the commencement of identifying and eventually acquiring property in New York City for the project’s construction.
The THE Tunnel will be an additional passenger rail tunnel connecting New York City to New Jersey and to Rockland and Orange counties in New York.
The project includes the expansion of New York’s Penn Station beneath 34th Street in Manhattan. The Board’s action makes up to $75 million available for property acquisition as part of the Port Authority’s overall commitment to the THE Tunnel project. In July, the Port Authority allocated $10 million for the project’s preliminary planning and engineering activities.
“Today’s action demonstrates the Port Authority is again delivering on its commitment to ensure that THE Tunnel becomes a reality,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “We believe this project will be our generation’s George Washington Bridge, increasing mobility and spurring economic growth throughout the region, and we are making another down-payment on the project.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The need for this project is unquestioned and the Port Authority recognized its significance long ago.
Among its innumerable other benefits, THE Tunnel will facilitate development along West Midtown and provide, for the first time, a one-seat ride from Rockland and Orange counties to New York City.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Over the next ten years we expect to see the 240,000 commuters currently crossing the Hudson every day grow at a dramatic rate. THE Tunnel project is one of the key solutions to ensuring our transportation network meets the demands of a growing region.”
The $75 million for property acquisition is the second allocation from the up to $2 billion the Port Authority has committed to the project. The Port Authority allocated $10 million in July for preliminary planning and engineering activities.
The bistate agency’s ten-year strategic plan, adopted in December 2005, recognized THE Tunnel as crucial to regional prosperity. Today’s action by the Board is consistent with the strategic plan’s goals and the agency’s long-standing commitment toward THE Tunnel and related mass transportation projects. Prior actions include $250 million for multilevel rail cars for NJ Transit; $150 million for NJ Transit\'s Meadowlands Rail Spur; $145 million for leasing space at the new Moynihan Station; $20 million for NJ Transit and Empire State Development Corporation near-term capacity improvements to Penn Station New York; and $5.5 million as a cosponsor of THE Tunnel Major Investment Study.
In July, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advanced the THE Tunnel to the preliminary engineering phase of the federal “new starts” process – a significant step in acquiring future federal funding.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.