Yes, the World Trade Center construction gets more than half of the capital spending in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s $7 billion 2012 budget. But needed infrastructure work also is included.
Approved last week, by the Board of Commissioners, the budget includes $3.6 billion in capital expenditures, some $2 billion going to the Trade Center. But other monies are allocated to infrastructure projects on the New Jersey side of the river, including: raising the Bayonne Bridge to allow larger container ships to dock at local ports; modernizing airport runways and terminals: replacing suspender cables at the George Washington Bridge; improving Lincoln Tunnel access; installing a new signal system for PATH; and dredging ports.
All of this, the Authority says, is being done on a virtual zero-growth budget, given the continuing slow recovery.
“This is an austere budget that allows us to maintain our core mission of enhancing regional mobility, while also making investments in the region’s economy to generate quality jobs during these difficult economic times,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson in a press release. “This budget advances critical, priority projects now during the time we complete our review of the agency’s long-term capital needs and priorities.”
Meanwhile, a Special Committee created in September is analyzing the Authority’s 10-year plan, with a first report due to Governors Christie and Cuomo in January, and a final report by June 30. Still a focus on fixing the existing infrastructure should help all who are doing business in the state, be they office owners, tenants or the workers who use public transit to get to work. That can only benefit the state in the long run.