Fight brews between New York and New Jersey over new Port Authority bus terminal
New York and New Jersey are in a feud when it comes to building a new Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan.
Officials in both states say that drama surrounding the project includes protests, letters and name calling.
New Jersey officials say that they thought the project was moving forward, but then came a letter this week from a New York congressman whose district is where the new terminal was expected to be built. The letter asked that Port Authority Chairman John Degnan be recused from bus terminal plans.
"To suggest the chairman was acting for political and personal reasons is downright insulting and perplexing," says New Jersey Sen. Loretta Weinberg.
Some officials say that they are surprised that the congressman who wrote the letter, Rep. Jarrod Nadler, is said to have taken part in a meeting recently where it was agreed to pick an equal number of representatives from each state for the project.
Degnan was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie and the thought is that New York officials are upset that this will only benefit New Jersey. Degnan says that he doesn't know why the congressman sent the letter.
"After the last board meeting, he stopped in my office to ask me for $70 million of Port Authority money for a further [environmental impact statement] study for the harbor freight tunnel. I did not say yes."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Steven Cohen skipped out on a recent Port Authority board meeting as a form of protest. Cohen was appointed to the agency by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"There are obviously issues related to the bus terminal and funding on projects in both states and that has led to some frustration," says Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye.
The drama has delayed the 10-year capital plan from December to next year. But Port Authority board members say they committed to a new terminal in the capital plan and there's no going back on that.