The Real Deal New York

Proposed Port Authority split wouldn’t be easy, officials say

Past, present directors warn against separating agency's assets

April 01, 2014 05:55PM

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From left: Chris Ward, Patricl Foye and Chris Christie

From left: Chris Ward, Patricl Foye and Chris Christie

Current and former leaders of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey didn’t show much enthusiasm this week for Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie’s suggestion that the agency be split between states.

The authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye, said during a meeting this week that breaking up the agency responsible for the “Bridgegate” scandal would be “an extraordinarily challenging and difficult endeavor,” as the Wall Street Journal reported.

Former director, Chris Ward, said in the meeting that the affair, in which Christie was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge for political gain — a charge recently disproved by an internal investigation — is no reason to separate the agency’s assets, which include the bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the World Trade Center site, among others.

“As often has been said, if the region didn’t have the Port Authority, it would be struggling to figure out how to create one,” Ward told the Journal. “And given its history and regional development, it’s essentially impossible to break the regional model now.”

Dividing the agency has been heavily debated, and an oversight  committee was appointed last month to consider reform, as was reported at the time. [WSJ]Angela Hunt

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