With the winter season’s first major snowstorm expected tomorrow, the Port Authority has prepared a large amount of snow-fighting equipment to handle whatever conditions develop at its airports, seaports, tunnels, bridges and PATH system.
Forecasts call for snow to begin by late morning on Saturday and continue into Sunday. Some parts of the New York-New Jersey region could get a foot of snow.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “We’re working hard to make sure travelers get to their holiday destinations safely and on time. We've invested in the most state-of-the-art snow fighting equipment to give our operations staff the tools they need to battle the upcoming winter weather.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “Our professional staff is geared up and ready to go this weekend. When snow is in the forecast, our mission is clear. We must make sure that our tunnels, bridges and rail system continue to operate safely and efficiently.”
When snow is in the forecast, the Port Authority has extra personnel on duty at all of its facilities. During the most severe storms, staff work around the clock in 12-hour shifts. The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.
The Port Authority’s winter weather arsenal features:
- more than 200 pieces of heavy snow equipment at its airports, including modern, multi-use units that can plow, brush and blow snow at 35 mph; melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour, and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph;
- approximately 60 pieces of snow equipment at the bridges and tunnels, including 28 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest;
- more than 2,000 tons of salt and more than 1,500 tons of sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus more than 2,000 tons of salt for the bridges and tunnels;
- approximately 300,000 gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports, which prevents snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus approximately 1,700 tons of solid deicers, which break up ice and snow already on the ground;
- plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a “jet engine” plow to remove snow from tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH’s 13 stations, and various support facilities; and
- approximately 1,000 staff members and contractors with years of specialized training and professional experience in handling severe winter weather at transportation facilities.
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, Stewart International 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; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; 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 and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.