By TIFFANY THOMAS
Members of Port Authority’s committee on capital planning unveiled on Tuesday a 10-year capital spending plan totaling $27.6 billion that would mainly be used to maintain and improve transportation.
Revitalizing commuter systems and safety were major priorities, members said, focusing on such capital projects as rebuilding the World Trade Center, modernizing regional airports, and improving tunnels, ports and bridges.
Some $8 billion were earmarked for local airports. In his recent State of the State address, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “the Port authority is going to make significant investment in our airport systems to bring it into the 21st century,: an idea seconded by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Another major capital project of the committee’s 10-year plan was hurricane Sandy relief to which the committee pledged $1 billion in aid.
Changes and improvements to bridges, tunnels and airports would generate over 126,000 jobs, predicted PA executive Director Pat Foye. “The investments the Port Authority will be making in the region will also be a major jobs generator and economic engine,” he said, “something that has been a top priority for governors Cuomo and Christie.”
With the proposal up for discussion, the committee plans to monitor and update the progress of the 10-year capital planning.
“I am proud of how quickly we’ve advance with the permanent process,” Foye said. “Our agency was first in the nation to apply for expedited treatment under president Obama’s federal infrastructure dashboard,” the executive director said.
Port Authority’s committee on capital planning has been in review for over a year. The decision to accept the 10- year proposal will be decided on February 19th by the full Port Authority board.