As the Port Authority schedule return back to normal after Irene’s aftermath, its Executive Director, Chris Ward, announced that there would be no sale of the agency’s 1 World Trade Center property. Despite being strapped for cash and the calls to sell off assets in order to increase levels of much needed liquidity, Ward says that nowhere in the port authority schedule of financial moves are there any plans for a sale of 1 WTC.
As first printed in a recent NY Post article, Chris Ward stated that Port Authority’s current financial woes will require that the commencement other projects on the Port Authority schedule of initiatives, such as new terminals at LaGuardia and Newark terminals, would have to be postponed to at least 2015. Ward also defended the large toll hikes which have been imposed upon metro New York drivers coming in and out of Lower Manhattan. For Chris Ward, such toll hikes are far more acceptable than a sale of 1 WTC, of which he says “there is no chance.”
This statement from the Port Authority Director follows a recent and very political speech he delivered at the Battery Park Ritz Carlton, “wherein he bemoaned the country’s lack of will and political center to invest in infrastructure projects.” This Battery Park speech and his most recent position on the World Trade Center properties are symbolic of Ward’s overall controversial opposition to the viewpoint of critics who favor that the 1 WTC sale. Many of these critics, including Governors Cuomo and Christie, feel that the sale would make the toll hikes unnecessary and ease the agencies cash woes.
Hence, even as transportation problem caused by Hurricane Irene continue to dissipate, the Port Authority schedule remains tenuous.