$9B for Port Authority bus terminal? Fuhgeddaboudit

Agency must come up with cheaper alternatives, board says
March 20, 2015 12:10PM

Transit officials rejected a $9 billion proposal for a new Port Authority bus terminal on Thursday and demanded  cheaper alternatives.

The reconstruction plan was presented Thursday before the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board, which tasked the agency with finding a solution to rebuild the dilapidated transportation hub. “Either we are going to build a 21st-century bus terminal or abandon our bus passengers to a Fourth World commuting experience,” Commissioner Kenneth Lipper said, according to the Associated Press.

The proposed facility would rise five stories and take up three and half city blocks — but the board’s commissioners determined the project’s price tag was too high. A building expert said the terminal would be extremely expensive to build because it must be constructed with the world’s heaviest structural steel. The cost proposed by the original study is up to ten times more than some earlier estimates.

Other options for an updated facility included placing a skyscraper at the facility’s north end, or moving the entire West. The agency then could sell development rights for two skyscrapers on Eight Avenue, the current site of the bus terminal. Port Authority Chairman John Degnan expressed frustration that the plan didn’t include a proposal involving a property transfer with a Manhattan developer, according to the AP.

“It would potentially facilitate the availability of a plot of land to help with the terminal,” Degnan said. “It needs to be considered. It got dropped.”[AP] –Kerry Barger