After months of debating, reviews, rejections and re-thinks, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has settled on a $32 billion plan to fund infrastructure across the two states.
The money is part of a ten-year financing scheme. Included is the $3 billion Port Authority bus terminal (see the shortlisted designs here); a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, and major overhauls to JFK and LaGuardia International airports of which will cost $10 billion and $4 billion respectively.
A rendering of the design for LaGuardia shows the islands-and-bridge concept that will attempt to solve major problems with the current airport. (Courtesy Governor Andrew Cuomo)
According to Crain’s New York, a record-high spending plan was dismissed at a meeting in December. However, last week, the Port Authority’s board all agreed on the current financing plan which will go before a public review. Final approval is in line for February.
Prior to this, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Port Authority’s chairman John Degnan had locked horns as to how to delegate spending. Crain’s reports that Cuomo regards the Manhattan bus terminus to be a predominantly New Jersey asset as it mainly serves residents commuting to New York. In the end, it was agreed that New Jersey would pay $2.1 billion of the terminal’s costs.
As for JFK Airport, Cuomo appears prepared to spend big. Around $1.5 to $2 billion will be spent on improved roadway access to the airport. Other plans such as an increased mass transit capacity on the subway, LIRR, and AirTrain are also being considered. As AN’s Audrey Wachs reported, notably, the state is exploring the feasibility of a “one-seat” ride to JFK, which would mean no more getting off the A train to board the AirTrain only to find your MetroCard doesn’t have enough cash so you have to wait behind 20 clueless tourists on line at the machine when your flight leaves in 30 minutes. The research and advocacy group Regional Planning Association has even drawn our this neat map as to what that “one-seat” ride might look like.
For LaGuardia, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) consists of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and LaGuardia Gateway Partners, which is in turn comprised of the construction company Skanska, airport operator Vantage Airport Group, and investment company Meridiam, among others. U.S. architecture firm HOK is also working on the project. According to a press release, the deal includes the “finance, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B…with a lease term through 2050.”