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Port Authority’s $32bn capital plan leverages private dollars

The agency, a joint venture between New York and New Jersey, includes PPPs for LaGuardia Airport and the Goethals Bridge in its 10-year spending plan.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Board of Commissioners approved a $32.2 billion 2017-2026 capital plan last week, with the agency looking to leverage billions of private sector dollars in investment.

The plan, approved 16 February, includes $11.6 billion to revamp the region’s major airports and includes funding for the $4 billion LaGuardia Terminal B replacement, the largest transportation PPP in the US. The plan proposes investments for projects at the region’s other two major airports, Newark Liberty in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy in Queens, New York.

“There’s no question that the region’s transportation needs are growing at a far greater rate than the resources that are available to address them,” Port Authority Chairman John Degnan said.

After LaGuardia’s Terminal B project broke ground last June, construction on the second half of the airport’s redevelopment, which will replace terminals C and D with a unified terminal, is expected to begin this year. The plan includes $600 million in Port Authority funding for the $4.5 billion project, with the rest of the financing coming from Delta Air Lines and a Goldman Sachs-managed fund.

At JFK Airport, the Port Authority investment aims to strengthen supporting infrastructure to allow for a privately financed terminal expansion and modernisation using a model similar to the LaGuardia project. The plan sees $2 billion in total Port Authority funding going to the JFK redevelopment and a LaGuardia Airport AirTrain.

The plan earmarks $162 million in funding for the Goethals Bridge replacement, a $1.5 billion PPP between the Port Authority and a consortium backed by Macquarie Group and Kiewit Corporation launched in 2013.

While $29.5 billion will come from direct Port Authority spending, the agency has also committed $2.7 billion in debt service for the Gateway Program, a rail tunnel project that will connect New York and New Jersey across the Hudson River.

A joint venture between the states of New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority oversees much of the transportation infrastructure in the New York City metropolitan region.