Press Release Article


Date: Mar 20, 2003
Press Release Number: 34-2003

Project Expected to Ease Congestion, Enhance Safety and Improve Quality of Life For Neighborhood Residents

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today appropriated $12 million to begin a comprehensive project to upgrade and improve the New York exit plaza of the Holland Tunnel.

Scheduled to begin in April, the project is designed to ease congestion, enhance safety and improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents, and rehabilitate existing infrastructure. Traffic improvements will include an additional Varick Street exit, new traffic signs, better roadway lighting and roadway resurfacing. On streets adjacent to the tunnel, residents also can expect to see landscape enhancements, as well as additional park benches and streetlights. Curb and sidewalk replacements also will be added in the vicinity of the tunnel to enhance pedestrian safety.

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, \"The Holland Tunnel serves as a critical link between New Jersey and New York, moving tens of thousands of motorists each day.

\"This project will improve the movement of people and goods, helping to ease the trip for the thousands of people who travel through the tunnel each day as well, and ease the movement of goods, which strengthens the economy of the region,\" Chairman Sinagra said.

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"Nearly 30 million vehicles pass through the Holland Tunnel each year, so it is essential that we continue to upgrade and maintain this key transportation facility. This project will enhance safety, ease congestion and provide a better quality of life for residents of this neighborhood.\"

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"Over the next five years, the Port Authority will invest $216 million in capital improvements at the Holland Tunnel. The funding for this project will allow us to continue to take the measures that keep this facility safe and in a state of good repair, and also allow us to meet the demands of both motorists and the surrounding community.\"

Working in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation and community officials, the first step in this rehabilitation project will be the removal of the \"Joie de Vivre\" sculpture at the exit rotary of the Holland Tunnel on March 25. The sculpture, which has been on loan to the Port Authority since 1998, will be returned to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. As the project nears completion, anticipated for March 2005, the Port Authority will seek to make arrangements for a sculpture at the site.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the
George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the 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.

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