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The Port Authority Board of Commissioners yesterday approved a $32.2 billion, 10-year capital plan–the agency’s largest ever. The major allocations include: $3.5 billion to begin the planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal; $10 billion towards improving trans-Hudson commuting, including a $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge replacement, completion of the $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge rebuilding, and a $2 billion rehab of the George Washington Bridge; $11.6 billion in major airport upgrades, which factors in $4 billion for the new LaGuardia Terminal B, a plan to extend the PATH train from Newark Penn Station to the Newark Airport, and the beginning of Cuomo’s JFK overhaul; and $2.7 billion towards the Gateway rail tunnel project.
The capital plan had been pegged as “quid quo pro,” with “interstate jealousies over funding” taking precedent over regional need. As such, Governor Cuomo’s office had announced that the $32 billion plan would dedicate $9.8 billion to New York projects, $9.8 billion to New Jersey projects, and $12 billion to interstate projects. The most contentious of the projects has undoubtedly been the new Port Authority Bus Terminal, a 10-year, $10 billion endeavor. This past November, planning came to a stand still when the agency disagreed over budget concerns and the design process, and more recently Governor Cuomo was overheard referring to it as a “New Jersey project.” Despite the $3.5 allocation towards the Terminal, many elected officials still feel it’s not enough and won’t allow the project to proceed in a timely manner. […]