Date: Nov 08, 2013
Press Release Number: 115-2013
Financial close marks key milestone for Port Authority’s Bridge Revitalization Program; construction to begin later this year
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NYNJ Link Partnership today reached financial close on a $1.5 billion public-private partnership (PPP) to replace the Goethals Bridge with a new state-of the art cable stayed design bridge. The project is the Port Authority’s first new bridge in more than 80 years and the first true surface transportation public-private partnership in the Northeast Region.
Financial close is the last major milestone on the project prior to construction, which will begin later this year. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners awarded a 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to NYNJ Link Partnership earlier this year as part of the PPP to replace the Goethals Bridge. NYNJ Link Partnership comprises Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc. and Kiewit Development, together with lead contractors Kiewit Infrastructure, Weeks Marine, and Massman Construction.
"Reaching financial close is another significant milepost on our journey to completing the region’s first true surface transportation public-private partnership in the northeast region,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “Governors Cuomo and Christie have tasked us with coming up with creative solutions to rebuild our critical infrastructure, and we believe this project will serve as an example for building major transportation infrastructure in the northeast while leveraging private capital and expertise.”
“The replacement of the Goethals Bridge is a critical part of the Port Authority’s plan to address our region’s critical infrastructure needs,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “By working with our private partners who have extraordinary global experience in P3 projects, we are able to bring the best of the private sector together with our need for a state of the art Goethals Bridge.”
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the Port Authority on this iconic project, which will result in a modern new bridge and improved connectivity between New Jersey and Staten Island,” said Christopher Leslie, Chief Executive Officer, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. “We have reached a significant milestone and are eager to start construction.”
The bridge construction will be financed with $461 million in Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bonds, a $474 million TIFIA Loan, and equity contributions from the Developer. The Port Authority will make certain payments to the developer as the project approaches substantial completion, once construction milestones are met. Once the bridge reaches substantial completion, the developer will receive periodic payments from the Port Authority over the course of the 35-year operating period, subject to performance deductions.
The project will create more than 2,250 direct construction jobs, $224 million in wages, and $872 million in economic activity for the region. The new span will connect Staten Island, New York with Elizabeth, New Jersey. Construction crews will remove the current Goethals Bridge once construction on the replacement span is complete.
The 85-year-old existing bridge is functionally obsolete, with 10-foot travel lanes and no shoulders. The new bridge will include additional wider travel lanes and 12-foot shoulders that will ease congestion and accommodate anticipated future traffic volumes. It also will provide state-of-the-art smart bridge technology, including a traffic detection system that use sensors embedded in the roadway to provide alerts on traffic build-up to enable incident response plans to be quickly implemented.
The new structure also will restore pedestrian access to the Goethals Bridge with a pedestrian/bicycle pathway - a safe, scenic passageway for recreational enjoyment. The replacement Goethals Bridge is subject to Buy America provisions, will utilize domestic materials wherever possible.
Construction on the replacement bridge is expected to begin later this year, with initial service commencing in late 2016 and substantial completion of the bridge occurring in late 2017. The current Goethals Bridge will remain open until service begins on the new bridge. The Port Authority is developing an overall traffic plan for the life of the project and the agency does not expect there to be any significant traffic impacts during the construction phase. In addition, the Port Authority has established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) utilization goal of 10% of the Design and Construction contract amount. The use of local small and minority/women-owned businesses will be encouraged throughout the construction project.
To learn more about the project visit http://www.panynj.gov/goethalsbridge/.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
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.