Two States Move To Ease Commuting Strains For Tens Of Thousands and Restore Transit Access to Lower Manhattan
Moving swiftly to restore mass transit connections to downtown New York for tens of thousands of New Jersey commuters, New York Governor George E. Pataki and New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey today announced a $300 million Port Authority contract for the construction of a new temporary PATH station at the World Trade Center site. The contract also includes related work in the PATH tunnels and in Jersey City that is required in order to restore access to Lower Manhattan from New Jersey and to reopen Jersey City's Exchange Place PATH station.
The Port Authority will award the contract to a partnership of Tully Construction, Yonkers Contracting Co., and A. J. Pegno Construction. The contract will be awarded based on the lowest contractor's fee, a component of the total contract cost. The winning bid included a contractor's fee of $16,711,000. The partnership of Schiavone Construction, Slattery-Skanska, Granite Halmar Construction, and Perini Corp. had the next lowest bid at $23,750,000. "This contract represents the first major step in the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan and a milestone in New York City's recovery from September 11," Governor Pataki said. "On December 13th, I announced that we would move swiftly to restore full mass transit access to New York City's financial district. The Port Authority has expedited this program, and work will start within three weeks. The temporary PATH station at the WTC site represents the first step in a long-term program that will lead to a better transportation network to help revitalize the New York City economy."
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, "Prior to September 11, the World Trade Center station was the busiest in the PATH system, serving approximately 65,000 commuters daily. The projects approved today will help provide relief to these commuters and restore a vital link between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan."
The construction program also promises to reopen the PATH Exchange Place station in Jersey City within 18 months, restoring transit access to Jersey City's "Gold Coast" of office buildings, and allowing New York-bound commuters easier access to ferries bound for the Wall Street area. Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, "This project illustrates the unique contribution that the Port Authority can make because of its regional mandate. Helping rebuild the transportation network in Lower Manhattan is the kind of critically important transportation project that the Port Authority, with its institutional depth and engineering expertise, is uniquely qualified to carry out." Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles Gargano said, "The redevelopment of Lower Manhattan is of paramount importance. The economic vitality of New York and of the entire region depends on the swift reconstruction of New York's financial district and transportation systems. Today's contract award is a milestone on the road to a new and better downtown for New York City."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph Seymour said, "In December 2001, the Port Authority's Board of Commissioners approved a $544 million program to begin the restoration of Lower Manhattan's transportation system. Today we have awarded the major portion of this work, which includes building a temporary PATH station at the World Trade Center site within two years. "While this work progresses, we are carrying out Phase Two of the Board's program: we are planning a permanent WTC PATH station and, working with the City, the MTA, and many others, beginning to plan ways to integrate the permanent PATH terminal with other mass transit, including New York City subways, buses and privately operated ferry services."
In addition to constructing a new temporary PATH terminal for Lower Manhattan, the contract provides for restoring two PATH tunnels under the Hudson River, expansion of the Exchange Place PATH station in Jersey City, and the building of new crossovers that will allow PATH trains to cross between tunnels at Exchange Place. The new crossovers allow the Exchange Place station to become operational within 18 months, which will help Manhattan-bound commuters to access ferries to Lower Manhattan prior to the reopening of the WTC PATH station.
As part of the World Trade Center site redevelopment planning effort, the Port Authority also will provide assistance to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is exploring options for redevelopment of the site and other areas within Lower Manhattan, including a memorial for the victims of September 11.