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Port Authority unveils $27.6 billion plan for capital projects

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The Bayonne Bridge is among the top priorities for the Port Authority coming years.
The Bayonne Bridge is among the top priorities for the Port Authority coming years. - (Patrick Damiano - http://flic.kr/p/d95paU)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Tuesday laid out a $27.6 billion, 10-year spending plan for its vast network of transportation infrastructure in the region.

The capital plan, which covers 2014-23, touches everything from the raising of the Bayonne Bridge to the extension of the PATH system to Newark Liberty International Airport, according to a news release. The bi-state agency estimated the work would generate more than 126,000 jobs and $29 billion in economic activity.

The plan will be considered for approval at the authority's Feb. 19 board meeting and is subject to public comment before then.

Among other aviation projects, the plan allocates $2 billion for the construction of a new 33-gate terminal at Newark airport, plus 144 acres of airfield work, a new roadway system and a 3,000-space parking garage, the agency said in a news release.

The plan also dedicates billions for well-known projects such as the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, the replacement of the Goethals Bridge and a rehabilitation of the George Washington Bridge.

For the heavily traveled PATH system, a $3.3 billion program includes three major projects: the replacement of the Harrison station, modernization of the Grove Street station in Jersey City and the extension to Newark airport, the Port Authority said. The extension would mean that for the first time, travelers would have a one-seat ride from Lower Manhattan to the airport.

The authority developed the plan after a "lengthy, rigorous risk-based scoring process" that prioritized projects based on their importance to "to the regional movement of people and goods," according to the news release. Nearly half of the spending will go toward state-of-good-repair projects to help maintain its existing assets.

In recent years, officials at the agency have sought to return it to its roots of transportation investment that helps grow the region's economy.

The plan also earmarks $1 billion over 10 years to for projects to repair infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy and protect it against future storms. That includes more than $700 million for permanent repairs to the PATH system, the most severely impacted Port Authority facility.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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