The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has begun operations at a new construction support facility at John F Kennedy International Airport.

Use of the on-site facility will eliminate more than 300,000 truck trips across local streets by shifting to the use of barges to move material to and from the $19bn airport redevelopment.

The first barge to deliver material to the airport’s construction support facility was unloaded at a dock along Bergen Basin, on the western edge of the airport, across from the Hamilton Beach neighbourhood in Queens. That single barge eliminated the need for nearly 200 trucks to carry the equivalent load. Altogether, over the life of the redevelopment project, surrounding communities will be spared an estimated 1.5 million miles of truck travel.

The construction support facility will perform multiple functions throughout the redevelopment of JFK, including concrete production at an on-site batch plant, operation of a concrete crushing facility to recycle construction debris that will be repurposed for new construction, and a marine transport facility to move construction material to and from the airport via local waterways.

“Creating a construction support facility that enables us to eliminate hundreds of thousands of diesel-powered trucks from traveling across local streets is proof of the Port Authority’s commitment to our goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions agency-wide by 2050.

“It also reflects our commitment to the community to reduce the impact of this historic construction project on their neighbourhoods and to enable minority- and women-owned businesses as well as local businesses to participate in an unprecedented number of business opportunities,” said Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton.

Earlier this year, the Port Authority awarded a contract to Melville-based Modern Efficient Transport and Supply (METS) to build and operate the on-airport construction support facility. Development, management and operation of the construction support facility is subject to the Port Authority’s sub-contracting participation goals of 20% by minority-owned business enterprises (MBE), 10% by women-owned business enterprises and 3% by service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises (SDVBE) in all procurement, subcontract, and ancillary service opportunities with this contract.

The concrete batch plant will utilise local suppliers from the communities immediately surrounding JFK. It will supply all the concrete to support construction, including for the two largest terminals and all the roads, parking garages and other infrastructure at JFK. In addition, METS has committed to utilising MBE firms for trucking needs on-airport and has committed to local hiring and workforce development opportunities throughout the life of the contract.

Image: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey