Board’s Decision Underscores Its Commitment to Port’s Future Growth
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will complete several critical elements of its rail program at the Port Newark and Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine terminals up to two years sooner than previously projected, satisfying a request made last month by New Jersey Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. The development was announced today by Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia at the bistate agency’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Commissioners.
The Board authorized an additional $141 million for the project, which will allow for completion of three new components of the program. They are:
- final design and construction of a second lead track to ExpressRail Elizabeth;
- completion of ExpressRail Elizabeth’s on-dock rail terminal, which will ultimately have 18 tracks; and
- construction of the ExpressRail Corbin Street rail support facility to provide capacity to stage, arrive and depart two-mile-long trains, and integrate rail traffic from the three on-dock ExpressRail facilities.
This work, which will be completed between 2007 and 2009, will complement and support previously authorized projects for on-dock rail terminals at the Howland Hook Container Terminal on Staten Island, Port Newark, and the Elizabeth-Marine Terminal. Completion of this work will allow approximately one million containers a year to be handled by rail through these facilities. The Board previously authorized approximately $310 million for the port rail program.
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “I’m extremely pleased that the Port Authority was able to find the resources to make this necessary investment in the port’s rail infrastructure, which is critical if we are to maintain the economic activity and the jobs that the port generates. Moving more cargo by rail instead of by truck will allow us to handle future growth and will help protect the environment.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Today’s action clearly shows the Board’s commitment to fast track this important project as we work closely with our private-sector terminal operators on ways to handle projected cargo growth. Rail volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey has grown an average of 17 percent a year over the last 10 years. That growth will continue over the next five to 10 years, which is clear evidence that our investments in rail are needed now. Acting Governor Codey’s insight has allowed us to take a much closer look at this project and find a way to accelerate it so that we can achieve the economic and environmental benefits it provides.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Rail is a key component of our overall port redevelopment strategy, which will allow us to handle double-digit cargo growth well into the future. In addition to our Elizabeth rail facility, we are actively working to install a rail terminal at our Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which will open in 2006. When these projects are complete, they will serve as prime examples of our commitment to investing the resources and building the infrastructure necessary to maintain our port as one of the premier shipping destinations in the world.”
The new eight-track rail facility at the Elizabeth Marine Terminal opened in October 2004.
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 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 rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the New York Container 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.