N.Y.-N.J. Port Authority: Sandy Caused $2B in Damage

February 11, 2013

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will spend more than $2 billion to repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, but the agency’s executive director said last week that the ultimate financial impact should be minimal.

At its monthly board meeting, executive director Patrick Foye said insurance policies held by the Port Authority combined with expected reimbursements from various federal agencies, including the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, should significantly mitigate the cleanup costs.

“We expect that after insurance, self-insurance, FTA and FEMA funding, the Port Authority will recover the overwhelming majority of the cost with little to no financial impact on the Port Authority,” Foye said.

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson rail system received the brunt of the damage, with costs associated with the storm exceeding $800 million. Stations on both sides of the Hudson River were closed for weeks, and full service was only recently restored on some lines. The Oct. 29 storm filled PATH’s Hoboken station with 8 feet of water, forcing the suspension of service until the week before Christmas.

The World Trade Center site, the Holland Tunnel and the area’s three major airports also suffered damage from wind and flooding in the storm, one of the region’s worst natural disasters.

The cost to the World Trade Center site totaled about $500 million, according to its owner, the Port Authority.

In other matters last week, the authority’s board of commissioners approved a $77 million project to replace the Palisades Interstate Parkway helix onto the George Washington Bridge, part of the agency’s overall $350 million bridge upgrade.

The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2017. A temporary bridge will be constructed to accommodate traffic while construction proceeds. More than 20,000 vehicles use the helix each day.

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