JERSEY CITY-The Port Authority Board of Commissioners hasauthorized the agency to move ahead with the purchase andredevelopment of Greenville Yards, a century-old rail yard herethat will serve as the lynchpin to removing up to 360,000 trashtrucks annually from trans-Hudson crossings and New Jersey highwaysby moving New York City's sealed containerized solid waste andother commodities by barge and rail when the facilities arecompleted by 2013.

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Greenville Yards today forms the western terminus for New YorkNew Jersey Rail LLC, which is owned by the Port Authority andoperates the last cross-harbor car float system on the HudsonRiver. Under this system, freight is loaded on rail cars and thecars are moved by barge from Greenville to Brooklyn, NY, where theyare either delivered to local customers or handed over to anotherrailroad to reach their destination.

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The Board has authorized $118.1 million for the overall project,part of which will go toward the purchase of approximately 47 acresof upland property and 72 acres of riparian rights at Greenville,with the other portion going toward the existing rail car floatsystem operating between Greenville Yards and sites at 51st and65th streets in Brooklyn. Funding will come from federal and stategrants, as well as Port Authority funds.

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According to the Port Authority, the new barge-to-rail facilityat Greenville Yards will allow for municipal solid waste and othercommodities to be barged from New York to New Jersey in watertightsealed containers and taken out of New Jersey by rail. Currently,the majority of New York City's waste is trucked through the PortAuthority's Hudson River crossings in unsealed, open-topped truckswith fabric coverings and continues out of state using New Jersey'sroads.

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Port Authority chairman Anthony R. Coscia tells GlobeSt.com,"Our bridges and tunnels are overburdened with truck traffic, andtoday's action provides an environmentally sound alternative. Itwill provide a host of important benefits--reduced congestion forthose who use our crossings, a better quality of life for thepeople of our region and lower bridge and tunnel maintenance costsfor the Port Authority."

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New York City plans to ship an estimated 120,000 to 180,000containers of solid waste per year through two barge-to-railtransfer points on the western side of the Port of New York and NewJersey. The plan is for Greenville to handle about half of thecontainer stream, with the balance going to the other selectedfacility.

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In addition to the Greenville project, the Port Authority alsorecently approved a $660,000 increase in funds for Essex County'sacquisition of Riverbank Park Extension property in Newark underthe Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resources Program. The Authority alsoreauthorized a project to complete the wharf reconstruction atBerth 8 and part of Berth 10 at Port Newark and authorized a new,525,750-square-foot lease with American Airlines Inc. for hangar,office and flight kitchen space in Hangar 10 for a five-year periodand Buildings 121 and 122 for two years.

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