The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is backing plans to renovate and expand the existing Port Authority Bus Terminal, rather than build a new one elsewhere, Bloomberg reported. The plan, along with other proposals for the terminal, will undergo a year-long environmental review.
Officials said they could deliver an improved station faster by building in place, a move that would also maintain the transit center's current connection to 12 subway lines.
The Port Authority already approved $3.5 billion in its capital budget for a new terminal, though the cost is likely to reach $10 billion. The renovation would add two stories to the terminal building and see its existing four stories reconstructed, all while keeping bus service operational throughout construction.
The agency's 10-year, $32.2 billion capital budget not only includes a contribution to the bus terminal project but also $11 billion for improvements at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark (NJ) Liberty International airports. To help foot the bill on such massive capital outlays, the Port Authority previously suggested private financing.
Though still relatively new when it comes to delivery methods, public-private partnerships represent an increasingly attractive option for financing large infrastructure projects, particularly those that have the potential to generate revenue.
The method has already been tapped for the JFK and LaGuardia projects. The private consortium of LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) helped finance the $4 billion Central Terminal B overhaul at LaGuardia. The agency provided design services for the project and is now underway with construction. When complete, LGP will maintain and operate what it has said is the largest P3 in U.S. aviation history.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is also gearing up for a $10 billion renovation at JFK, which will see new construction and upgrades to existing infrastructure. The master-planning phase will be carried out by a P3 led by U.K.-based Mott MacDonald.