Building blocks of a new vision
Since its foundation the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey continues to run key transportation and trade infrastructure in one of world’s most important cities successfully. Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the US. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the US, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. In May this year, PANYNJ’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to begin the first phase of a new vision for an overall redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport by selecting LaGuardia Gateway Partners to develop a $3.6 billion world-class facility to serve approximately 50 percent of the passenger volume at LaGuardia, consistent with the recommendations of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Airport Advisory Panel. The May decision was the culmination of a multi-year procurement process conducted by the Port Authority to select a team of leading private-sector construction, engineering, planning, airport management and finance firms to work with the agency in an innovative public-private partnership to construct the first phase of redevelopment of LaGuardia, which includes demolishing the Central Terminal Building and creating a new world-class facility including a new central entry portal to the airport and unifying previously unconnected terminals. The LaGuardia Gateway Partners consortium is led by Canada's Vantage Airport Group and includes Skanska USA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Meridiam Infrastructure, HOK and Walsh Construction. The project includes demolishing the Central Terminal Building and creating a modern, new passenger friendly gateway with better connected terminals.It follows preliminary recommendations from Governor Cuomo's Advisory Panel and represents the first phase of a comprehensive master plan for a 21st century LaGuardia Airport that will be unveiled in the coming weeks. According to PANYNJ, the new LaGuardia will be a "world-class facility", and will be designed to seamlessly integrate with future amenities recommended by the Governor's Panel such as premier retail and dining space; a hotel; a conference and business centre and other modern features that will generate revenue for the Port Authority. The amenities also will include transportation features such as an AirTrain, ferry service and a people mover to help passengers traverse the entire airport. Construction of the project will be funded by a public-private partnership, with the private sector contributing more than $2 billion and the Port Authority contributing more than $1 billion to construct the airport and supporting infrastructure.LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the private development team, will be responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the new terminal. "By utilising an innovative public-private partnership in this endeavour, the agency is also taking another important step in bringing state-of-the-art financing techniques to the task of updating our region's airports and other critical infrastructure,” said PANYNJ chairman, John Degnan. PANYNJ’s cargo volumes set a record pace with a 13.4 percent increase during the first half of 2015. According to the data made public by theport authority the port handled 3,093,789 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared with 2,727,554 TEUs handled during the same period in 2014. The record volumes have allowed the port to maintain its position as the busiest on the East Coast. Cargo handled by ExpressRail, the authority's ship-to-rail system serving New York and New Jersey marine terminals, also continued to increase as a percentage of total port cargo compared to trucks. During the first six months of 2015, ExpressRail handled 257,103 containers, up 15.1 percent from the previous record year of 2014, when 223,374 containers were handled. The agency's $600 million investment in ExpressRail and plans to build a new ExpressRail facility in Greenville Yard in Jersey City have been critical to addressing the need for on-dock rail to improve port efficiency, competitiveness and reduce emissions, they said. Port-wide cargo facility charges now fund port road, rail and security projects. "We're reaping the benefits of a strong regional economy and labor uncertainty on the West Coast," said Richard Larrabee, Port Commerce Director. "Our challenge now is to find ways to more efficiently handle the record volumes we have seen all year, and we’ve been working collaboratively with all port stakeholders to meet this goal,” Larrabee added. While celebrating the first anniversary of The National September 11 Memorial & Museum being opened for the public in May this year 9/11 Memorial Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg said: “In the year since we opened the doors to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, millions of people from around the world have visited to learn more about what happened that day and about those we lost.” “The Museum has shared powerful stories of heroism and compassion while helping to spread understanding about how the attacks of 9/11 have shaped our world, and we look forward to welcoming millions more visitors in the years to come,” he added. It is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, fundraising, programming and operations of the Memorial and Museum. The Memorial and Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site. The Memorial remembers and honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees.