York Port Authority board to acquire and redevelop New Jersey
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners
authorized the purchase and redevelopment of Greenville Yards,
a century-old rail yard in Jersey City, New Jersey. This will
serve as the lynchpin to removing up to 360,000 trash trucks
annually from trans-Hudson crossings and New Jersey highways
by moving New York City’s sealed containerized solid waste and
other commodities by barge and rail when appropriate facilities
are completed by 2013.
Greenville Yards forms the western terminus for New York New
Jersey Rail LLC, which is owned by the Port Authority and operates
the last cross-harbor car float system on the Hudson River. Under
this system, freight is loaded on rail cars and the cars are
moved by barge from Greenville to Brooklyn, New York, where they
are either delivered to local customers or handed over to another
railroad to reach their destination.
The board authorized $118.1 million for the overall project,
part of which will go toward the purchase of approximately 47
acres of upland property and 72 acres of riparian rights at Greenville,
and part of which will go toward the existing rail car float
system operating between Greenville Yards and sites at 51st and
65th streets in Brooklyn, New York. Funding for this authorization
will come from federal and state grants, and Port Authority funds.
A new barge-to-rail facility, to be built at Greenville Yards,
will allow for municipal solid waste and other commodities to
be barged from New York to New Jersey in watertight sealed containers
and taken out of New Jersey by rail. Currently, the majority
of New York City’s waste is trucked through the Port Authority’s
Hudson River crossings in unsealed, open-topped trucks with fabric
coverings and continues out of state using New Jersey’s roads,
causing negative environmental consequences, worsening traffic
congestion and overburdening the region’s bridge and highway
New York City plans to ship an estimated 120,000 to 180,000 containers
of solid waste per year through two barge-to-rail transfer points
on the western side of the Port of New York and New Jersey. If
Greenville is used for this purpose, it would handle about half
of the container stream, with the balance going to the other
selected facility. In order to meet this demand, the Port Authority
will make improvements to decades-old track and infrastructure,
as well as construct a modern barge-to-rail transfer facility.
The board action will allow these improvements to move forward.
The purchase of Greenville Yards and the rehabilitation of track
and infrastructure there also provides the Port Authority with
major benefits, including reduced costs to maintain its bridges
from the wear and tear caused by daily truck traffic. Each year,
the Port Authority spends more than $30 million maintaining the
deck of the George Washington Bridge upper roadway, due primarily
to truck traffic. In addition, the reduction of up to 360,000
trash truck trips a year will significantly reduce the levels
of harmful emissions currently generated by truck shipments.
The barge-to-rail facility to be built at Greenville Yards will
connect two railroads – CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern
Railway. Since freight trains are not allowed in Amtrak’s North
River Tunnels, and the Poughkeepsie Bridge was closed in 1974,
the cross harbor car float system is the only Hudson River rail
freight crossing within 140 miles of New York City.