Press Release Article


Date: Dec 29, 2004
Press Release Number: 163-2004

Achievements Include Unveiling of WTC Transportation Hub Design, Laying of Cornerstone for Freedom Tower and
Start of Procurement Process For New PATH Cars

The rebirth of the World Trade Center site moved into high gear in 2004 with the unveiling of the design for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and the laying of the Freedom Tower cornerstone – two events that showcased another highly productive year for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

In addition to its focus on the World Trade Center site, the bistate agency made progress on major transportation and economic development projects and issues this year that are critical to the region’s long-term economic future. They include:

  • The start of the procurement process for the purchase of new PATH rail cars.

  • The approval to build a new Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, to be leased by JetBlue Airways.

  • The approval to begin a $280 million redevelopment of Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport.

  • The signing of a long-term lease with the City of New York for the operation of the two New York airports. The lease signing, which occurred in November, was followed by an immediate payment of $780 million to the city.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “Working together, we reached tremendous milestones in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan this year. We laid the cornerstone for the Freedom Tower, unveiled plans for the transportation hub, topped off 7 World Trade Center and selected a memorial design. In 2005, we will build upon these accomplishments as we continue to revitalize downtown, and in doing so, we will honor the memory of those we lost at the World Trade Center Site. I want to commend the Port Authority on their many other accomplishments this year, including improvements made at their transportation facilities, and the finalization of the airports’ lease with New York City. In 2005, we will continue to grow New York’s economy by ensuring a strong regional transportation system.”

Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “As the PATH station at the World Trade Center completes its first full year by exceeding all expectations with its soaring ridership, we also can point to a number of other achievements in 2004 which helped strengthen the region – the channel-deepening project at our seaports, the beginning of the complete overhaul of the PATH train fleet, and the start of Terminal B’s modernization program at Newark Liberty International Airport. These projects and many more in the agency’s $1.7 billion capital plan for 2005 will ensure our transportation infrastructure remains a strong economic engine for the region.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “While we are rightly proud of all we accomplished in 2004, our work is never done. In fact, for the first time in the agency’s history, we took a 10-year view of the future during the recent budget planning process, and the strategic ‘Vision for the Region’ that we created reinvigorates our broader commitment to developing and operating transportation facilities and services that foster the economic growth of the region.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “For more than 80 years, the Port Authority has been the region’s preeminent transportation agency, so the agency’s strong showing in 2004 is no accident. The dedicated staff of the Port Authority, which is charged with providing safe and secure passage for hundreds of millions of travelers and billions of dollars in commerce every year, takes this massive responsibility very seriously, and that’s why we can look back proudly every year at all they have achieved.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Although I joined the Port Authority in the latter part of 2004, I quickly became aware of the great progress the agency made in 2004. Under the leadership of our governors and Board of Commissioners, I am confident that the hard-working people of the Port Authority will excel yet again in 2005 and continue to build upon the agency’s strong record of accomplishment.”

Other projects completed and programs implemented in 2004 include:

Lower Manhattan

  • Culmination of an agreement with the City of New York over the ownership and control of streets and sidewalks that run through the World Trade Center site.

  • Topping out of the 7 World Trade Center tower.


  • Commencement of a study to look at the future modernization and expansion of the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport.

  • Commencement of a study to look at the future modernization and expansion of Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport.

  • Rehabilitation of the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

Tunnels, Bridges and PATH

  • Start of a three-year environmental review of a proposal to build a new Goethals Bridge.

  • The opening of higher-speed E-ZPass lanes at the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing.

  • Installation of a new PATH fare collection system that will accept New York City Transit MetroCards and ultimately a smart card.

Marine Terminals and Ferries

  • The start of a $1.6 billion project to dredge the shipping channels in the Port of New York and New Jersey to 50 feet.

  • The award of a contract to Circle Line to initiate ferry service between LaGuardia Airport and Lower Manhattan.

  • Completion of a new ExpressRail facility at the New Jersey Marine Terminals.

  • The installation of four ultra-modern cranes at the New York Container Terminal, formerly Howland Hook.

  • The start of construction on a new Battery Park City ferry terminal.

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; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail 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.

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