Press Release Article


Date: Dec 12, 2007
Press Release Number: 110-2007

With two winter storms forecast during the next four days, the Port Authority has prepared a large arsenal of snow-fighting equipment to handle all possible winter weather emergencies at its airports, seaports, tunnels, bridges and rail transportation facilities.

Deputy Executive Director for Operations Ernesto L. Butcher said, "When it comes to fighting snowstorms, our mission is clear. We will do everything we can to keep our facilities operating safely and efficiently, even during the harshest winter conditions. That's why we maintain large inventories of snow-fighting equipment at all of our facilities. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that our seasoned snow-moving professionals have the finest equipment available. I am confident that these dedicated men and women have the tools and abilities to weather any winter storm."

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 (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) have snow desks where key personnel analyze weather reports and deploy staff and equipment.

The Port Authority's winter weather arsenal features:

  • more than 330 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;

  • 59 pieces of snow equipment at the bridges and tunnels, including 28 trucks equipped with plows and spreaders at the George Washington Bridge - the world's busiest;

  • 2,300 tons of salt and 2,500 tons of sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus more than 2,000 tons of salt for the bridges and tunnels;

  • 200,000 gallons of liquid anti-icer chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus 1,760 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 tracks, and snow blowers, plows, and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH's 13 stations, and various support facilities; and

  • almost 1,000 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, Stewart International 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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