The chairman of the Port Authority said his agency isn’t going back to the drawing board on its $10 billion plan to build a bus terminal on the West Side of Manhattan, despite opposition from New York officials.
Responding to calls for more local input on the plan at a Port Authority board meeting Thursday, the agency’s board of commissioners, John Degnan, of New Jersey, said the agency was “not going to defer the design and deliverability study,” according to Crain’s.
On Thursday, Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris joined the chorus of New York officials — including Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and others — who want the Port Authority to slow down. They are concerned the new terminal will displace homes, businesses and a church if the terminal seizes the private property though eminent domain. More bus traffic could also exacerbate carbon emissions in the area.
Instead, they wondered if the Port Authority was too quick to push aside other proposals, one of which would relocate part of the bus terminal to New Jersey.
Degnan dismissed the complaints and said the design competition would ensure officials can weigh in on the project. “I don’t see a reason to defer a process that is simply an early step,” he said.
There’s been no shortage of political wrangling over the West Side terminal.
In March, Degnan said he would withdrawn his support for a new central terminal at LaGuardia Airport if the Port Authority didn’t back his bus terminal redevelopment plan. RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler, a prior chairman of the Port Authority, had backed studying less expensive solutions. The latest estimates peg LaGuardia’s renovation at about $8 billion. [Crain’s] — E.B. Solomont