New York and New Jersey are close to reaching an agreement that would break a 17-month deadlock over a port lease that has paralyzed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to press reports.
Neither New York Gov. George Pataki nor New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman had signed off on the deal as of early Wednesday evening, but both sides expressed hope that the feud might be near an end.
According to those with knowledge of the discussions, some of the major terms of the tentative agreement include: Pataki's signing of a 30-year lease for Maersk Sealand's cargo hub at Port Newark-Elizabeth in New Jersey; Whitman's agreement to let the Port Authority spend $250 million on New York transportation
projects.; and conducting a study aimed at increasing the $1 PATH New York-New Jersey commuter
train fare and the fees that bus lines pay to use the Port Authority bus terminal.
If the deal was finalized, Port Authority commissioners
would be able to follow up on a number of major projects that had been stalled during the standoff, which began in January 1999.