- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioners have delayed a vote on a potential $31 billion, 10-year infrastructure spending program, according to The New York Times.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reached a compromise on one of the plan’s biggest points of contention, cost-sharing on a new Port Authority bus terminal, but some commissioners said they needed more time to consider other projects in the plan like new trains to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY, and Newark (NJ) Liberty International Airport.
- The commission agreed to hold a special meeting in January to vote on the proposed spending plan, one month later than commission Chairman John J. Degnan had planned, so a public comment period could extend the vote past February.
There is typically a tug of war that occurs when the authority tries to determine whether projects benefit New York or New Jersey the most — or serve both equally — as this is how it divides up funding. For example, only $2 billion of the cost of the new $3.5 billion terminal will be split between the two states because 70% of the users are from New Jersey. So $2.5 billion of the cost will come out of New Jersey’s share and $1 billion out of New York’s. This allowed Cuomo to designate extra funds for the AirTrain to LaGuardia and a PATH extension to Newark Liberty.
A few months ago, the Port Authority managed to agree on a $300 million outlay for a replacement of the Portal Bridge that crosses the Hackensack River in New Jersey. That investment was part of the $24 billion Amtrak-led Atlantic Gateway Program, which was established to improve rail connectivity along the Northeast Corridor.
In June, construction began on a new $4 billion terminal at LaGuardia. The project is reportedly the largest public-private partnership (P3) in the country, and general contractor Skanska USA, which leads the private component of the P3, LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), has said it is the company's largest project ever. In March, Port Authority officials announced that total project costs were actually $5.3 billion if they included previously unbooked development costs. This followed a February announcement that cost increases had boosted the project's price tag from $3.6 billion to $4.2 billion as a result of a central hall addition, which was left out of the original bid.