Recovered from Sandy, Hoboken PATH Set to Weather the Next Storm

By Abigail Goldring, Media Relations Staff

Eight years ago, the Hoboken PATH Station was devastated by the force of Superstorm Sandy. Today, well into the 2020 hurricane season and just ahead of NYC’s annual Climate Week, there are few lingering signs of the station damage from that perilous October night.

At the Hoboken Station, crews have been working through the pandemic to put the finishing touches on a formidable, multi-level flood protection system, a significant component of the agency-wide Sandy recovery program. The system is now set up to block several feet of water from flooding onto the tracks, which could disrupt service for hundreds of thousands of riders.

“Since 2009 we’ve addressed climate risks in project design, but Sandy brought a renewed urgency to our work,” said Port Authority Chief of Resilience and Sustainability Josh DeFlorio. “Through application of our Climate Resilience Guidelines, we’re continuing to harden our facilities to weather the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and storm surge.” 

Crews working on flood protection in Hoboken

During a storm, rushing water from the Hudson River can be blockaded from reaching the depths of the station in several ways. It might hit up against aquarium-thickness glass at the elevator or an aluminum stoplog system at the top of a staircase, or reach a flexible fabric barrier that’s been pulled over one of the staircases in anticipation of a storm. If the water ultimately makes it down the staircases, there are massive steel doors locked in place ahead of time designed to keep water from approaching the tracks. The heaviest steel door – at the staircase between NJ Transit and PATH – weighs 5,600 pounds.

Renovated elevator with aquarium-thickness glass

The station’s upgrades are just a fraction of the enhancements taking place across the railroad to provide safer and more reliable service for riders.

In June 2020, the World Trade Center station reopened for weekend service six months ahead of schedule following extensive Sandy-related repairs. In June 2019, the new eastbound Harrison Station opened with specific flood mitigation measures already embedded into its design and retrofitted platforms to accommodate 9-car trains. The ability to accommodate longer trains at PATH stations is one of the key pieces of the agency’s $1 billion PATH Improvement Plan designed to reduce delays and improve the customer experience.

“The new flood protection systems we engineered are designed to help us get the railroad back up and running as quickly and safely as possible,” PATH Senior Project Manager Glenn Mack said. “It will now take us significantly less time to get the station ready for service again compared to what we faced after Sandy.”

The project is ahead of schedule, due in part to recent lower PATH ridership and the PATH team’s steady commitment throughout the pandemic to completing the project.

One of the flood doors ajar

“We took advantage of the fact that fewer people were moving in and out of the station as we advanced our resilience work at the Hoboken PATH Station and all across the system,” said Damian McShane, PATH’s Assistant Director for Capital Projects Management.  “I’m really proud of the hard work our teams put in to enhance the operational safety at Hoboken through this hurricane season and every hurricane season to come.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recovered from Sandy, Hoboken PATH Set to Weather the Next Storm

Step by Step, PA is Raising the Airport Safety Bar

By Cheryl Albiez, Media Relations Staff

Over the past six months, the Port Authority has been partnering with airlines, government leaders and other airport stakeholders to help restore confidence in air travel. At the top of that list is an aggressive, focused campaign to keep the airports clean, safe and accessible.

As Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence put it: “Our goal as the operator of the region’s airports is to win back customers and return better than before. And we know we can’t do that unless we put health and safety before everything else.”

The Port Authority’s four commercial airports – John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International airports, LaGuardia Airport and New York Stewart International – have launched a public awareness campaign to highlight the agency’s efforts to provide the highest level of safety when traveling through and working at its airports.

A new video entitled “Steps to Safety,” detailing the PA’s safety protocols, is now posted to the Port Authority’s YouTube channel. Additional coronavirus-related updates can be found on the agency’s website. 

The airports’ cleaning and safety program is guided by four core principles:

  • Enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting regimens are the new normal. Both employees and customers are expected to frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Facilitating social distancing and deploying new technologies and mobile applications to reduce face-to-face interactions and passenger contact with touch surfaces in the terminal.
  • Restricting airport facility access to ticketed passengers and employees.
  • Speeding the traveler journey within air terminals from the front door to the cabin door by minimizing distractions and providing clear directions.

Click here to learn more.

The protocols in place to carry out these principles include requiring face coverings at all terminal and facilities, the deployment of 3,450 hand sanitizing units and 150+ hand-wipe units at the airports, regular and vigilant cleaning of high-touch services, installing hundreds of plexiglass barriers at high-contact customer service points and 6,700 signs emphasizing the agency’s protocols.

Posted in air travel, airport terminals, airports, aviation, aviation geeks, coronavirus, COVID19, EWR, Huntley Lawrence, international flight, international travel, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Kennedy Airport, Kennedy International, LaGuardia Airport, LGA, New Jersey, New York, Newark, Newark Liberty International Airport, NY/NJ region, NYC, PANYNJ, PATH Trains, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, Winter Storm Jonas, Port Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Port Authority of NY/NJ, Portfolio, travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Step by Step, PA is Raising the Airport Safety Bar

Port Special Delivery: One Ship, Extra-Extra Large

By Amanda Kwan, Media Relations Staff

It wasn’t your imagination.

An ultra-large container ship wider than a football field and the length of more than four New York City blocks cruised into New York Harbor on the afternoon of September 12 and into Port maritime history, becoming the largest vessel to call at the Port of New York and New Jersey and any U.S. East Coast port.

The CMA CGM Brazil, with a maximum capacity of 15,072 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), called on the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal on Saturday evening with goods such as fall/winter clothing, pharmaceuticals and furniture bound for retailers in the bistate region and beyond.

Port Director Sam Ruda welcomed the ship at Berth 92 with a plaque commemorating the occasion for CMA CGM America executives Tom Aldridge and Kurt Mittenzwei and its captain, Biser Nikolaev Draganov. Ruda also thanked the International Longshoremen’s Association for its dedication and continued service in keeping the regional supply chain fluid at the Port throughout the pandemic.

“We have all arrived at this historical moment together, thanks to continued and dedicated investments to our infrastructure, our partnership with APM Terminals and the CMA CGM Group, and the waterfront workforce who keep the region supplied with all the critical goods that keep us fed, clean and healthy,” Ruda said. “In the midst of the global pandemic, this moment shows the importance of the Port and supply chain to our regional economy.”

The ship’s arrival showcases the Port’s ability to handle the world’s largest container ships, a result of recent Port Authority investments such as the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program and the Harbor Deepening Program. The Bayonne Bridge project increased its vertical clearance to 215 feet, while the dredging project deepened the shipping channels to 50 feet.

Combined, the improvements along with significant additional investments by all of the Port’s terminal operators allow the Port of New York and New Jersey to welcome the next generation of ultra-large container vessels, which use newer and more environmentally friendly technology, have more sustainable designs, and help reduce emissions by carrying more containers with fewer vessels. The CMA CGM Brazil — 167 feet wide and 1,200 feet long — was built in 2020.

The ship arrived in North America from southeast Asia via the Suez Canal and departed this morning for Norfolk, VA. During its visit, more than 2,600 containers of goods were unloaded for delivery to regional retailers by truck or freight rail and nearly the same amount of exports loaded back on.

For additional photos of the CMA CGM Brazil at the Port of New York and New Jersey:

For video footage of the CMA CGM Brazil traveling under the Bayonne Bridge:

Photos courtesy of the Port Authority and CMA CGM Group
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Port Special Delivery: One Ship, Extra-Extra Large