The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized construction of the remaining major pieces of the on-dock rail infrastructure planned for the Port of New York and New Jersey, which will give the port the ability to handle up to 1.3 million containers a year by rail.
The Board authorized an additional $66 million for the port’s rail program, which includes:
- Final design and construction of ExpressRail Port Newark.
- Final design and construction of the ExpressRail Corbin Street rail support facility, which will provide capacity to stage, arrive and depart two-mile-long trains, and integrate rail traffic from the three on-dock ExpressRail facilities.
The work, which will be completed by 2011, will complement and support previously authorized projects for on-dock rail terminals at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, Port Newark, and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal. Today’s action increases the Port Authority’s total investment in the rail program to $530 million.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Board recognizes the crucial need to invest now in the port’s rail infrastructure so we can efficiently handle the projected 7 percent annual growth in international cargo. Upgrading and expanding our rail facilities is critical if we are to increase the economic benefits and number of jobs that the port generates.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “It is prudent that we make this major investment because it’s a priority for us to handle greater volumes of cargo by rail instead of by truck to allow the port to remain strong and vibrant. These investments, coupled with hundreds of millions of dollars we will invest to deepen harbor channels, will ensure that our port remains the leading East Coast destination for international shippers.”
The projects authorized today will provide approximately 30,000 linear feet of support track for ExpressRail Port Newark, two new loading tracks, a truck ramp over Corbin Street and an administration building. When completed, ExpressRail Port Newark will have the capacity to handle up to 250,000 containers a year. The Corbin Street rail support facility project will provide approximately 26,000 linear feet of support track for ExpressRail facilities at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island, the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal and Port Newark. Completion of the support track will provide the portwide capacity to transport approximately 1.3 million containers a year by rail.
A new eight-track rail facility at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal opened in October 2004, and construction is under way to add an additional 10 tracks. ExpressRail Staten Island is scheduled to commence operations around the end of this year, restoring freight rail service to Staten Island after a 15-year hiatus.
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.