Billions of dollars set aside for major infrastructure projects in New York and New Jersey could be imperiled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that unless the federal government steps in, its 10-year, $37 billion spending plans are at risk of reduction, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The projects in the spending plan include the renovations at LaGuardia Airport, which Cotton said are still expected to be completed. The Port Authority is also halfway through improvements at Newark Liberty International Airport and only just started an upgrade of John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Libby McCarthy, the authority’s chief financial officer, said the number of passengers at airports and other transit was down 95 percent, while weekday traffic on bridges and tunnels was down 60 percent. The authority, which has a $5.8 billion budget and in usual times is self-funded, collects user fees from its ports, three major airports and six toll bridges and tunnels.
The Port Authority asked for $1.9 billion from the federal government ahead of the passage of the coronavirus stimulus package, but received $450 million to cover its losses at airports.
[WSJ] — Georgia Kromrei