Press Release Article


Date: Jul 27, 2006
Press Release Number: 51-2006

At Least $1 Billion, up to $2 Billion for this Generation’s ‘George Washington Bridge’

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the investment of at least $1 billion and as much as $2 billion toward construction of the Trans-Hudson Express (THE) Tunnel project. This critical mass-transit project will create an additional passenger rail tunnel connecting New York City to New Jersey and to Rockland and Orange counties in New York, and includes the expansion of New York’s Penn Station beneath 34th Street in Manhattan.

“The Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel project is the right solution to mobility and economic growth in the region,” said New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine. “It’s been 50 years since the Port Authority undertook a major bistate transportation project like THE Tunnel, and I commend them for providing critical resources to support this landmark capital investment. I look forward to continuing to work towards a full-funding grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “New York City continues to be fiscally strong and a major generator of new development and jobs, and mass transportation projects like THE Tunnel, East Side Access and the JFK Rail Link to Lower Manhattan and Long Island will ensure that trend continues for future generations. THE Tunnel project will not only create 28,000 jobs for New York, but will support continued development of the west side of Manhattan, providing enhanced commuting options to and from the area to ease the strain on already overburdened trans-Hudson tunnels and bridges.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “THE Tunnel is precisely the type of project the Port Authority was created to facilitate. We built or expanded much of the region’s landmark infrastructure: the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, Newark Liberty, JFK and LaGuardia airports, and we now proudly add THE Tunnel to that historic list.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The new tunnel will ease access to the developing business district along West Midtown and will greatly enhance the commute for the thousands of people traveling from New Jersey and Orange and Rockland counties to New York City. For the first time, it will provide these New York suburban commuters will a one-seat ride to and from work, greatly reducing their travel time.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Every morning, 240,000 commuters cross the Hudson River and get to work. We expect that number to grow rapidly over the next ten years and THE Tunnel will help to manage that tremendous growth and alleviate the burden on the region’s other transportation facilities.”

The project also includes improvements to the Northeast Corridor rail line, the purchase of locomotives and coaches, and the acquisition of property or property rights.

The Port Authority’s ten-year strategic plan, adopted in December 2005, recognized THE Tunnel as a project crucial to bistate regional prosperity. Today’s action by the Port Authority Board is consistent with the strategic plan’s goals and the agency’s long-standing commitment toward THE Tunnel and related mass transportation projects. Previous to today’s action, the agency authorized $250 million for bilevel rail cars for NJ Transit; $150 million for NJ Transit\'s Meadowlands Rail Spur; $145 million for leasing space at the new Moynihan Station; $20 million for NJ Transit and Empire State Development Corporation for near term capacity improvements to Penn Station New York, and $5.5 million as a co-sponsor of THE Tunnel Major Investment Study.

THE Tunnel project took a significant step forward last week with the announcement by Governor Corzine that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will advance the THE Tunnel to the preliminary engineering phase of the federal “new starts” process – a significant step in acquiring federal funding.

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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