Should NY State take over building airports? That’s what Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in his State of the State address. Congratulate him for finally realizing that the Port Authority of NY and NJ is completely dysfunctional, a money pit, and an impediment to the region’s economic vitality. However, his model is the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, which suffers from some the same Portlike maladies. Cuomo sponsored a terrible, budget design that is by no means guaranteed to come in cheap or on time or any better built than the existing junk bridge. And it’s not yet fully financed.
The Port Authority needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom, with everything looked at, from essentially corrupt procurement to the management revolving door, clueless approach to design, and incompetent operations. (Above: leaking roof at LaGuardia, 2011.) Its mandate needs to be drastically trimmed. Many people in power know this. Cuomo might actually get some needed cooperation from Gov. Christie of NJ, who may play nice in repairing Port Authority as a way to repair his own reputation — ruined unironically by his own (Port Authority) bridge folly.