Press Release Article


Date: Dec 29, 2004
Press Release Number: 164-2004

Project Eases Congestion for Drivers While Improving Tribeca Neighborhood

The Port Authority has completed major rehabilitation work to the Holland Tunnel New York Exit Plaza, also known as the rotary. The 18-month, $12 million project delivers significant improvements for drivers using the Holland Tunnel exit roadway, and enhances safety for residents and pedestrians in the Tribeca neighborhood.

Port Authority Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Director Ken Philmus said, “The new configuration has dramatically improved traffic flow and reduced delays for New York-bound motorists. On average, drivers now move 40 percent quicker through the rotary.”

Mr. Philmus said the Port Authority worked closely with the New York City Department of Transportation and Community Board 1 on the project. “We’ve made some tremendous improvements to the area,” he said. Pedestrians and neighborhood residents now have safer corners for crossing with new sidewalks and lighting, and new park-like areas to enjoy.”

New York City Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall said, “We worked cooperatively with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and with the local community on this new initiative, and we were pleased with the safety improvements for pedestrians and motorists. We also will team with the Port Authority and the Parks Department and the community on a new park at Canal, Laight and Varick, and we are hoping that construction shall commence next year.”

The project involved several changes to the rotary’s infrastructure, including the creation of a new Varick Street exit. Motorists who previously used Exit 3 to travel south to Lower Manhattan now use the newly created Exit 4 at Varick Street. The existing Exit 3 now is used exclusively for eastbound traffic, and has greatly enhanced the flow and safety of pedestrian traffic in this area. New overhead traffic signs and better roadway lighting were added to the area, and the entire rotary has been resurfaced.

The project has improved neighborhood amenities, including new landscaping, park benches, trees along Varick Street, and new decorative streetlights along Varick and Laight Streets. New curbs and sidewalks also were added to increase pedestrian safety.

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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