Friday, February 17, 2017

PANYNJ Board approves largest capital plan in history

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Board of Commissioners approved a $32.3 billion 2017-2026 Capital Plan on Feb. 16.

It is the largest capital plan in agency history and $29.5 billion in direct spending on PANYNJ projects and the $2.7 billion commitment to support debt service on the Gateway passenger rail tunnel project. PANYNJ expects it to result in the creation of 235,400 job years, $20 billion in total wages and $56 billion in overall economic activity.

The Capital Plan also includes funding to rebuild some of Port Authority Trans Hudson's (PATH) aging rail stations and to upgrade other critical rail system infrastructure to ensure safety and service reliability. Funds also are included to plan and build an extension of the PATH system from its current terminus at Newark Penn Station to the Newark Liberty International Airport Air Link Station, a project designed to improve airport access and enhance trans-Hudson commutation. The plan also includes funds to build AirTrain LaGuardia, providing the airport with rail access to and from Manhattan and other New York City destinations for the first time.

PANYNJ also points out the plan commits $2.7 billion for the trans-Hudson rail tunnel link between New York and New Jersey and Portal Bridge North projects, which represents the largest contribution of any stakeholder to date. The contribution will pay debt service on expected borrowing by the Gateway Program Development Corporation from low-interest federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans.

"There's no question that the region's transportation needs are growing at a far greater rate than the resources that are available to address them," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. "For that reason, this Board has spent tireless hours coming to a consensus on how our resources will be spent to benefit the region and the customers we serve. We have developed a plan that invests in the most critical projects including critical improvements to trans-Hudson capacity, while providing the flexibility to make future changes should new, more vital needs emerge."

"This region needs state-of-the-art airports, new mass transit infrastructure and bridges designed to handle 21st Century traffic levels if we are to meet growth projections," said PANYNJ Executive Director Pat Foye. "This 10-year plan provides a record level of investment in all of these areas that will meet and support the region's growth and serve as a major job creator for the next decade."

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