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William Cronin The NY Port Authority

November 14, 2008 @ 12:00 am EST


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This morning our speaker was William Cronin from the New York Port Authority. Mr. Cronin’s expertise is in the shipping operations of the Port, but was quite knowledgeable on other aspects of the NYPA operations.

Bill began by giving us a little history. The NYPA was originally created to coordinate rail service from New Jersey to New York, and facilitate a smooth transfer of goods through several jurisdictions. Then the Holland Tunnel was built to create a better revenue stream and subsequently the Lincoln Tunnel was added, as was the George Washington Bridge.


Idlewild Airport, and LaGuardia Airports were owned by the city of New York and Newark Airport was owned by the city of Newark. All of these became NYPA properties. In the 70’s The World Trade Center was built and a companion project was the PATH train link to NJ


Today Port Newark and Port Elizabeth is a big part of the NYPA responsibilities and the security for all of these operations is a formidable task.


Recently NYPA acquired New York- New Jersey Rail LLC. The purpose of this acquisition was to reactivate a, long out of use, rail link and bridge that would bring rail freight traffic to Staten Island where it could be barged across the Narrows and delivered to Brooklyn. Brooklyn has rail links that connect to Long Island. In fact these are the very same rail links that congressman Nadler referred to when he made his presentation at LIMBA for a tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn. Nadler has made federal money available for the initial study of this idea, but Cronin told us the NYPA was not interested, indicating that it was not a viable idea, so they refused the money.


During the Q&A portion of the meeting I asked Mr. Cronin, “If this barge link is such a good idea, why not get behind Mr. Nadler’s proposal for the tunnel?” Bill Cronin said the NYPA simply did not think it was a good idea.


I wrote this piece late in the afternoon and by the time I put my recap together I found in my Email in-box two notes dated yesterday and today, that were attached to an email from Bill Cronin. NYPA reversed their decision to complete a feasibility study on creating the tunnel that congressman Nadler proposed. The study will now go forward. This is very good news for the region and Long Island. Mr. Nadler was thrilled with the decision.


It is true Long Island can substantially increase rail freight with quicker and less costly fixes, but this is the kind of robust infrastructure the region needs to support the growing economy of Long Island. This is a scoop folks and you heard it here first. You’ll be reading about it.