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NEW WINDSOR, NY-The Port Authority revealed an updated $29.5-billion 2007-2016 Capital Plan that includes $500 million for the redevelopment and expansion of Stewart International Airport in Orange County. The revised capital funding expenditure for the airport is up from $150 million the agency had originally allocated in its capital program last year when the Port Authority did not have control of the facility.

A spokesman for the Port Authority, notes that specific plans for the airport’s redevelopment and expansion have not been drawn up as yet. “We’ve only been operating it for two-and-a-half weeks,” he notes, adding that “we really want to turn it into a first-class facility.” He says capital expenditures could involve new hangars, terminal improvements, parking facilities and other airport-related development. “Everything is on the table,” he says.

The $500 million in capital funding likely includes the more than $78 million the agency paid late last month to National Express Corp. to acquire the lease at Stewart, according to the spokesman. The capital funds will also be geared to increasing air passenger traffic at the complex to help alleviate congestion at the Port Authority’s other New York area airports. The Stewart Airport operating lease runs through 2099, as GlobeSt.com previously reported. The complex is owned by New York State.

Other highlights of the Port Authority’s 10-year capital plan include a total of $3 billion for a new nearly $8-billion Hudson River Passenger Rail tunnel; $3.3 billion for improvements to the PATH transit system; $8.4 billion to rebuild the World Trade center site and $1 billion toward the construction of a new Goethals Bridge.

“Our ambitious plans demonstrate that the Port Authority has returned to its core mission–building and maintaining transportation infrastructure,” says Port Authority chairman Anthony Coscia. “With road and rail networks already stressed, we must invest now to provide security, maintain our bridges and tunnels, improve mass transit and reduce congestion. An open, transparent process will take place over the coming weeks so the public will have full opportunity to evaluate this proposal before any board action.”

To help fund the capital project plan and for $650 million a year in security costs, the bistate agency proposed toll and fare hikes for its tunnels, bridges and PATH systems in New York and New Jersey.

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