They may have presented the public with fanciful renderings of a redesigned bus terminal, and they may even have agreed to more community input, but the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey just can’t seem to agree on how to move forward on the project, the New York Times reports.
The agency’s board has been riddled with infighting along political and state lines with the differences between the two sides centering on who should shoulder the burden of paying for a redesigned terminal that could cost anywhere between $3.7 billion to $15.3 billion.
With all the squabbles between representatives appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the publication of the board’s monthly agenda was delayed, and no revised version of the capital plan has been published that reflects the funding requirements for the bus terminal. The previous 10-year-capital plan created in 2014 did not account for the terminal.
Just last month, several New York elected officials led by Congressman Jerry Nadler sent a letter to the chairman of the agency, John Degnan, asking him to step from the bus terminal redesign project, expressing concerns that terminal’s redevelopment would become mired in partisan politics.
Degnan has refused to budge and told the New York Times that “The Port Authority needs to work with the governors, but it should not be submissive to either one of them.”
An idea of setting aside $3.5 billion from the $28 billion capital plan for the bus terminal has been put forth so far. A spokesperson for Governor Cuomo told the Times that he would only agree to that if New Jersey was willing to spend two-thirds of that amount.
This coming Thursday, the agency’s board is expected to vote to ensure that the revised capital plan is published on December 19. Following that the agency will hold public meetings on how best to distribute the funds.