February 16, 2017 / 8:55 PM / 6 months ago

Port Authority approves $32 bln capital plan for NY, NJ

NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey signed off on a $32.2 billion, 10-year capital plan on Thursday, including funding to replace its main Manhattan bus terminal and financing for a new Hudson River passenger train tunnel.

The plan, proposed in January and approved after a public response period, will guide repairs and expansions for the bi-state authority's capital projects through 2026.

The Port Authority estimates the plan will create $20 billion in total wages and $56 billion in overall economic activity.

It includes debt service on up to $2.7 billion of borrowing for the first phase of Amtrak's $24 billion Gateway Program, which would build a massive new train tunnel underneath the Hudson River and is considered one of the most critical infrastructure projects in the nation.

State and federal agencies have agreed to split funding for Gateway.

The Port Authority operates airports, bridges and tunnels in the bi-state area, which produces 10 percent of U.S. economic output, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The capital plan incorporates $29.5 billion of direct spending on Port Authority projects, including $3.5 billion for a bus facility to replace the outdated, 66-year-old terminal on Manhattan's West side.

That still is not enough to actually complete the project, which is expected to cost at least $5 billion to $6 billion to complete in the next decade, New Jersey Senator Robert Gordon told the authority's board during its Thursday meeting. (Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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