Press Release Article


Date: Feb 10, 2006
Press Release Number: 6-2006

The Port Authority has readied a large arsenal of snow-fighting equipment and supplies at its airports, seaport, tunnels, bridges and rail transportation facilities to fight the major snowstorm forecast for this weekend.

Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Ernesto L. Butcher said, “Our goal is to keep our facilities operating safely and efficiently even during the harshest winter conditions. We do our best to make sure our professionals have the finest equipment available to make this possible. I am confident that these dedicated men and women are ready and able to handle any winter storm at any time.”

When snow is in the forecast, the Port Authority has extra personnel on duty at all of its facilities. During the most severe storms, staff works around the clock in 12-hour shifts. The airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.

The Port Authority’s winter weather arsenal features:

  • More than 160 pieces of heavy snow equipment at the airports – including modern multi-use units that can plow, brush and blow snow at 35 mph; melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour; and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph.

  • 68 pieces of snow equipment at the bridges and tunnels, including 20 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge – the world’s busiest.

  • 1,800 tons of salt and 2,000 tons of sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus more than 2,000 tons of salt for the bridges and tunnels.

  • More than 160,000 gallons of liquid anti-icing chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus 230 tons of solid deicers, which break up ice and snow already on the ground.

  • Plow-equipped trains, liquid snow melting agent trains and a “jet engine” plow to remove snow from station entrances, open track areas and roads that service PATH’s 13 stations and various support facilities.

  • More than 900 staff members and contractors with years of specialized training and professional experience in handling severe winter weather at transportation facilities.

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 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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