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STATE OF THE PORT AUTHORITY

WASHINGTON DC 07.12.2017

THE FUTURE OF SOUTHEAST DC

The Block is Hot!

Deborah Ratner Salzberg -- Forest City Washington
Janet Davis -- Brandywine Realty Trust
Richard Ruben -- Ruben Companies
STATE OF THE PORT AUTHORITY
Port Authority executive Christopher Ward (center, with New York Building Congress’ Dick Anderson and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer) at a NYBC breakfast
The Hilton’s Trianon Ballroom was also full yesterday to hear Port Authority executive director Christopher Ward (center, with New York Building Congress’ Dick Anderson and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer) report on the state of the PANYNJ from a historical perspective at a NYBC breakfast. He notes that the four pillars that built New York—water tunnels, subway, affordable housing, and PANYNJ—are now in jeopardy due to factors like funding cuts. For the Port Authority, this has affected projects like the George Washington Bridge suspension cable replacement, Port Authority Bus Terminal parking garage, and the JFK Airport Delta terminal renovations.
STATE OF THE PORT AUTHORITY
PANYNJ’s model has changed for the worse, he continues. Investment and return are trending in the wrong direction, he says; the Port Authority is not recession proof, and the state of the market has taken $5B out of its financial capacity, impacting security and state-of-good-repair programs. It’s already put priority on zero operating growth, lowering staff numbers, and deferred capital projects, and he notes that public-private partnerships help somewhat, but aren’t solving all problems. He says the PANYNJ needs to extract more value from the economy through programs like congestion pricing and other user fees to recover costs, and believes the public will accept them if they knew how it would impact security and projects.