Edior’s Note: This is an abbreviated version containing items relevant to aviation and related works.
Following a month-long public comment period, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved the agency’s 2018 Budget consisting of $3.2 billion for operating expenses and $3.4 billion for capital expenses. The budget – which does not include a toll or fare increase – allows the agency to enhance security at its facilities, improve customer service, invest in sustainability and environmental protection initiatives, undertake significant state-of-good-repair work and build new, best-in-class transportation facilities.
The Capital Budget funds major state-of-good-repair work at key transportation facilities and major projects to replace aging infrastructure with modern, state-of-the-art facilities to provide for future growth. The 2018 Capital Budget aligns with the 10-year, 2017-2026 Capital Plan adopted by the Board of Commissioners in February and invests in critical regional transportation projects such as: the redevelopment of LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports; advancement of the AirTrain LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport Vision planning; and planning activities for the new Port Authority Bus Terminal and extension of the PATH system to Newark Liberty rail link station for travel to Newark Liberty. In addition, the 2018 Capital Budget includes spending for the completion of the Goethals Bridge replacement and Bayonne Bridge raise the roadway projects; the “Restoring the George” rehabilitation of the George Washington Bridge; implementation of a Positive Train Control (PTC) system across PATH by the end of 2018; the construction of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at Greenville Yards at the Port Jersey Marine Terminal; and support of the planning phase of the Gateway Passenger Rail Tunnel projects.
“This budget is a win for our customers and a win for this region and its economy,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “It invests in better security at airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH, provides enhanced, state-of-the-art customer service amenities and allows for the construction of best-in-class facilities that will sustain regional growth for many decades.”
“This budget was crafted following a painstaking review of our finances and our needs to ensure we are investing in projects that are critical to our mission of rebuilding aging infrastructure,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford. “Our investments ensure that every dollar is being spent wisely and that the traveling public will reap the benefits.”
Some highlights of the 2018 Operating Budget include:
• $726 million to ensure safety and security at Port Authority facilities, including the addition of new counterterrorism police posts at the airports, the addition of new PAPD supervisory officer positions, and the commencement of two PAPD classes in 2018.
• $1.6 billion to operate and maintain the agency’s infrastructure operations, including an increase in maintenance costs driven by additional facilities coming on line at the World Trade Center site.
Some highlights of the 2018 Capital Budget:
• $1.1 billion to redevelop the region’s airports and ready them for the future. At LaGuardia Airport, construction continues on the entirely new, redeveloped airport. Planning and design for the AirTrain LaGuardia continues. At Newark Liberty International Airport, investment continues for the redevelopment of Terminal A into the new state-of-the-art Terminal One. Planning and design for the extension of PATH to the Newark Liberty rail link station is ongoing. At JFK International Airport, planning continues to advance the Vision Plan of Governor Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel for the redevelopment of the airport, encompassing new and interconnected terminals, relocated state-of-the-art cargo facilities and a new roadway configuration for reduced congestion.
• $55 million for the ExpressRail intermodal container transfer facilities at Port Jersey.