Thursday, February 20, 2014
 

 

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Port Authority board approves $27 billion 10-year capital plan

NEW YORK - The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a historic $27.6 billion, 10-year Capital Plan that provides a blueprint to renew the agency’s focus on its core mission of maintaining and building regional transportation infrastructure and on the creation of jobs and regional economic activity.

The Board’s approval followed a two-week public comment period in which the document was available online for public review.  All comments received were distributed to the Commissioners for review prior to approval.

“Adoption of this $27.6 billion Capital Plan will improve commute times, modernize our airports, lessen congestion and create lots of jobs,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye.  “This plan will create 126,000 job years and $29 billion in economic activity and means tens of thousands of people will be employed across the region."
 
“The Port Authority's operations, engineering and finance staffs have worked painstakingly for more than a year to craft a capital plan to address critical infrastructure issues in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deborah Gramiccioni.  “They identified innovative solutions to complicated problems, and I thank them for that. The primary beneficiaries of their work will be the people of our region who will enjoy a transportation network that is safe, secure and reliable."

The 10-year capital spending plan – which covers the years 2014 through 2023 – will serve as a regional economic engine, resulting in 126,000 total job years and $29 billion in economic activity. 

Development of the plan followed a lengthy, rigorous risk-based scoring process undertaken by the agency’s operating professionals and engineering staff to define projects that are most important to the regional movement of people and goods.  Approximately 46 percent ($12.7 billion) of the total Capital Plan spending is on state of good repair projects as the agency focuses on maintaining the assets in its existing portfolio.

For the tens of millions of customers who use the Port Authority’s facilities every year, the plan also contains projects that will directly impact their daily travel, including:

  • The redevelopment of the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport;
  • The raising of the Bayonne Bridge to ensure the long-term viability of the region’s port;
  • The extension of PATH to Newark Liberty International Airport, giving travelers a one-seat ride from Lower Manhattan to the airport;
  • The replacement of the Goethals Bridge with a state of the art bridge that will speed travel across the span and improve safety;
  • An upgraded PATH signal system that will result in more reliable train service and fewer delays;
  • Reconstruction of the Lincoln Tunnel Helix, which will provide greater roadway capacity for future growth.

In addition to the 10-year Capital Plan, the Board also adopted operating and capital budgets for 2014 that keep core operating expense growth at approximately half the rate of inflation, enhance security at the agency’s world-class transportation facilities, continue the agency’s aggressive resiliency efforts to rebuild and recover from Superstorm Sandy and provide for record levels of capital spending on critical infrastructure.

The $2.9 billion operating budget maintains non-police staffing levels at 5,143 positions and achieves additional savings through a reduction in employee health care costs and other benefits that took effect over the past two years.  The 1.1 percent uptick in core expenses is attributed to higher insurance premium costs – up $18 million following Superstorm Sandy – and enhanced security guard services at the airports.  The 2014 operating budget also includes a new police class in 2014.

The $4.4 billion 2014 capital budget calls for record investments in Port Authority facilities that will result in more than 23,800 total job years and more than $5.4 billion in economic activity for the region in 2014.  It will allow the agency’s signature projects to proceed on schedule, including the raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadway, the replacement of the Goethals Bridge, the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal Building,  the replacement of the George Washington Bridge’s steel deck, the reconstruction of airport runways and taxiways and the redevelopment of the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal to accommodate efficient goods movement in the port.  The budget includes $1.1 billion for state-of-good-repair capital projects, which are key to maintaining the agency’s transportation assets.  All state-of-good-repair projects have been carefully evaluated as part of an exhaustive prioritization process conducted by the agency’s operating and engineering professionals.