RECOMMENDED PROGRAM OF THE TWO AUTHORITIES
A POSSIBLE FUTURE FOURTH MAJOR CROSSING OF THE HUDSON
The facts disclosed by the Joint Study indicate that it is imperative that the two public Authorities as well as the appropriate Federal, State, County and Municipal agencies proceed immediately to provide certain major arterial improvements to accommodate the existing and anticipated traffic demands. Under the statutes that created them, the two Authorities are limited to the financing and construction of metropolitan arterial systems that can ultimately be made self-supporting on the basis of revenue bond financing.
At present, the Port Authority's credit position is such that it can borrow the capital funds necessary to construct the (Verrazano) Narrows Bridge and the improvements to the George Washington Bridge and approaches as hereafter recommended. The Triborough Authority, however, has a more limited capacity for expansion and would not be in a position to undertake the Narrows Bridge for an estimated ten years. The joint proposal would advance the construction of this vital facility by a decade.
Based upon the findings and conclusions of the Joint Study, the Triborough Authority and the Port Authority recommend and are prepared to proceed with the construction of bridge facilities that will call for the expenditure of approximately $379,000,000 by the two Authorities over the next five years. If the necessary Federal, State and local approvals are granted without delay, the Bridge projects will be available to traffic by January 1, 1960.
It is our considered judgement that the following recommended facilities are essential to the continued growth and prosperity of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area.
NARROWS BRIDGE: A double-deck, twelve-lane suspension bridge across the Narrows joining Staten Island at Fort Wadsworth and Brooklyn at Fort Hamilton.
The Narrows Bridge and its immediate approaches would cost about $204,000,000 for the first stage of construction and $16,000,000 more to complete. This project would be financed and built by the Port Authority and leased for operation and maintenance to the Triborough Authority. Under the agreement between the two agencies, Triborough would purchase the Bridge from the Port Authority sometime prior to 1969 by repaying the Port Authority all of its costs in connection with the project.
GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE: A six-lane lower deck on the George Washington Bridge.
A lower deck would be added to the George Washington Bridge to provide six more traffic lanes. The original design of the Bridge permits this addition. Certain structural reinforcement would be incorporated to provide for the possible conversion of two vehicular lanes to accommodate rapid transit facilities on the lower deck. The George Washington Bridge improvement, including immediate approaches, would cost about $82,000,000 and would be financed, built and operated by the Port Authority.
The new Manhattan approaches are planned to permit a new interstate bus terminal to be built east of Fort Washington Avenue.
THROGS NECK BRIDGE: A single-deck, six-lane suspension bridge across the East River at Throgs Neck between Fort Schuyler in the Bronx and Cryders Point on the west shore of Little Bay in Queens.
The Throgs Neck Bridge and immediate approaches would cost about $93,000,000 and would be financed, built and operated by the Triborough Authority.
RESTUDY OF CROSS-MANHATTAN EXPRESSWAYS
Future traffic volumes, as forecast by our consultants in the Joint Study, may demand a fourth crossing of the Hudson River within the next ten years. The traffic generating strength of the northern tier of counties (Bergen, Passaic and Rockland west of the Hudson; and the Bronx, Westchester, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk to the east) indicate the a new crossing of the Hudson should be located at a point north of Manhattan's Central Park.
Under the Joint Study, close attention was given to a new bridge in the vicinity of 125th Street, Manhattan. Traffic to be accommodated by such a new major Hudson River crossing, however, would require extensive and costly expressway facilities in Bergen County and across northern Manhattan, and extensive connections through Queens and on Long Island. It would also call for expensive new Harlem River and East River crossings.
We therefore recommend that further consideration of a fourth major Hudson River crossing be deferred until the George Washington Bridge, Narrows Bridge and Throgs Neck Bridge projects have been completed and the traffic patterns at that time can be studied.
PERIPHERAL PARKING AREAS IN NEW JERSEY
Manhattan Crosstown Expressway plans, which have been before the public for almost a decade, have been restudied as part of the Joint Study.
A six-lane elevated Midtown Expressway in the block between 29th and 30th Streets could connect the Lincoln Tunnel and West Side Highway with the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the East River (FDR) Drive. Access could be provided at several intermediate points.
The cost of this expressway, including real estate, would be about $77,000,000. If provision were made for construction of overhead industrial, commercial and office buildings as well as subsurface basement areas, the expressway construction cost would be increased by approximately $14,000,000. Such air right and subsurface development might yield sufficient annual revenues to compensate the City of New York for the loss of tax revenues from the present improvements. The revenues, however, would not be sufficient also to support more than a nominal part of the cost of constructing the expressway.
A four-lane, two-tube crosstown tunnel with similar terminal connections in this same general Midtown location would cost about $119,000,000 including real estate. If intermediate access to the tunnel in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue were provided, the total cost of the tunnel would be approximately $145,000,000.
An eight-lane elevated Lower Manhattan Expressway could connect the West Side Highway and the Holland Tunnel with the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. This expressway would cost about $72,000,000 including real estate.
The construction of these crosstown expressways could not be financed on any self-supporting basis and would therefore depend mainly upon Federal and State aid.
RELOCATION OF FAMILIES
The Joint Study included a survey of possible sites in New Jersey for peripheral parking areas which could be served by privately operated express bus service to Manhattan. One, in North Bergen adjacent to the Lincoln Tunnel approach, is being recommended to the Legislatures. The Joint Study indicated four additional sites which could be considered for future development.
RELATIONSHIP WITH RAIL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION
The many public responsibilities involved in the recommended program include the relocation of families to new homes from properties acquired for the approaches and connecting highways. Every effort would be made to assure the least possible personal hardship.
The program of Hudson River crossing facilities proposed in this report is not to be considered as in any way a substitute for a program of improving rail passenger facilities between New Jersey and Manhattan. One program is not an alternative for the other. Vehicular traffic studies show that if facilities for bringing New Jersey passengers to Manhattan by rail were effectively improved, the number of trans-Hudson automobile passengers who would be attracted would be relatively small and the amount of traffic on Manhattan's congested streets during rush hours would not be reduced to a noticeable degree. The private automobile into and out of Manhattan presents negligible competition to mass transportation.
The recommended Bridge projects and approaches have been and will continue to be the subject of the most thorough discussion by the Port Authority and the Triborough Authority with Federal, State and local officials, as well as civic and private groups and individuals. Appropriate legislation will be recommended in New York and New Jersey to permit the construction of these new Bridge projects. In addition, we will make every effort to support the appropriate governmental agencies in obtaining the Federal assistance indispensable to the completion of the program.