Chapter 43 of the laws of 1922 relating to the development of the port of New York Whereas, The states of New York and New Jersey on the thirtieth of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, pursuant to chapter one hundred and fifty-four of the laws of nineteen hundred and twenty-one of New York and chapter one hundred and fifty-one of the laws of nineteen hundred and twenty-one of New Jersey, did enter into a compact or agreement which pledged the two states to faithful cooperation in the future planning and development of the port of New York, and which, furthermore, created the port of New York district, as therein described, and the port of New York authority, a body politic and corporate, as an instrumentality or agency of the two states to effectuate such pledge of cooperation; And whereas, The said compact or agreement provides in article ten thereof that the "legislatures of the two states, prior to the signing of this agreement, or thereafter as soon as may be practicable, will adopt a plan or plans for the comprehensive development of the port of New York"; Now, therefore (the state of New Jersey by appropriate legislation concurring therein), the following be and it is hereby adopted as the comprehensive plan for the development of the port of New York under and pursuant to said compact or agreement: Section 1. Principles to govern the development: First. That terminal operations within the port district, so far as economically practicable, should be unified; Second. That there should be consolidation of shipments at proper classification points so as to eliminate duplication of effort, inefficient loading of equipment and realize reduction in expenses; Third. That there should be the most direct routing of all commodities so as to avoid centers of congestion, conflicting currents and long truck-hauls; Fourth. That terminal stations established under the comprehensive plan should be union stations, so far as practicable; Fifth. That the process of coordinating facilities should so far as practicable adapt existing facilities as integral parts of the new system, so as to avoid needless destruction of existing capital investment and reduce so far as may be possible the requirements for new capital; and endeavor should be made to obtain the consent of local municipalities within the port district for the coordination of their present and contemplated port and terminal facilities with the whole plan. Sixth. That freight from all railroads must be brought to all parts of the port wherever practicable without cars breaking bulk, and this necessitates tunnel connection between New Jersey and Long Island, and tunnel or bridge connections between other parts of the port; Seventh. That there should be urged upon the federal authorities improvement of channels so as to give access for that type of waterborne commerce adapted to the various forms of development which the respective shorefronts and adjacent lands of the port would best lend themselves to; Eighth. That highways for motor truck traffic should be laid out so as to permit the most efficient inter-relation between terminals, piers and industrial establishments not equipped with railroad sidings and for the distribution of building materials and many other commodities which must be handled by trucks; these highways to connect with existing or projected bridges, tunnels and ferries. Ninth. That definite methods for prompt relief should be devised which can be applied for the better coordination and operation of existing facilities while larger and more comprehensive plans for future development are being carried out. § 2. The bridges, tunnels and belt lines forming the comprehensive plan are generally and in outline indicated on maps filed by the port of New York authority in the offices of the secretaries of the states of New York and New Jersey and are hereinafter described in outline. § 3. Tunnels and bridges to form part of the plan. (a) A tunnel or tunnels connecting the New Jersey shore and the Brooklyn shore of New York to provide through line connection between the transcontinental railroads now having their terminals in New Jersey with the Long Island railroad and the New York connecting railroad on Long Island and with the New York Central and Hudson River railroad and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad in the Bronx, and to provide continuous transportation of freight between the Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx sections of the port to and from all parts of the westerly section of the port, for all of the transcontinental railroads. (b) A bridge and/or tunnel across or under the Arthur kill, and/or the existing bridge enlarged, to provide direct freight carriage between New Jersey and Staten Island. (c) The location of all such tunnels or bridges to be at the shortest, most accessible and most economical points practicable, taking account of existing facilities now located within the port district and providing for and taking account of all reasonably foreseeable future growth in all parts of the district. § 4. Manhattan service. The island of Manhattan to be connected with New Jersey by bridge or tunnel, or both, and freight destined to and from Manhattan to be carried underground, so far as practicable, by such system, automatic electric as hereinafter described or otherwise, as will furnish the most expeditious, economical and practicable transportation of freight, especially meat, produce, milk and other commodities comprising the daily needs of the people. Suitable markets, union inland terminal stations and warehouses to be laid out at points most convenient to the homes and industries upon the island, the said system to be connected with all the trans-continental railroads terminating in New Jersey and by appropriate connection with the New York Central and Hudson River railroad, the New York, New Haven and Hartford and the Long Island railroads. § 5. Belt lines. The numbers hereinafter used correspond with the numbers which have been placed on the map of the comprehensive plan to identify the various belt lines and marginal railroads. Number 1. Middle belt line. Connects New Jersey and Staten Island and the railroads on the westerly side of the port with Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and the railroads on the easterly side of the port. Connects with the New York Central railroad in the Bronx; with the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad in the Bronx; with the Long Island railroad in Queens and Brooklyn; with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad near Elizabethport and in Staten Island; with the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey at Elizabethport and at points in Newark and Jersey City; with the Pennsylvania railroad in Newark and Jersey City; with the Lehigh Valley railroad in Newark and Jersey City; with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad in Jersey City and the Secaucus meadows; with the Erie railroad in Jersey City and the Secaucus meadows; with the New York, Susquehanna and Western, the New York, Ontario and Western and the West Shore railroads on the westerly side of the Palisades above the Weehawken tunnel. The route of the middle belt line as shown on said map is in general as follows: Commencing at the Hudson river at Spuyten Duyvil running easterly and southerly generally along the easterly side of the Harlem river, utilizing existing lines so far as practicable and improving and adding where necessary, to a connection with Hell Gate bridge and the New Haven railroad, a distance of approximately seven miles; thence continuing in a general southerly direction, utilizing existing lines and improving and adding where necessary, to a point near Bay Ridge, a distance of approximately eighteen and one-half miles; thence by a new tunnel under New York bay in a northwesterly direction to a portal in Jersey City or Bayonne, a distance of approximately five miles, to a connection with the tracks of the Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley railroads; thence in a generally northerly direction along the easterly side of Newark bay and the Hackensack river at the westerly foot of the Palisades, utilizing existing tracks and improving and adding where necessary, making connections with the Jersey Central, Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, Erie, New York, Susquehanna and Western, New York, Ontario and Western, and West Shore railroads, a distance of approximately ten miles. From the westerly portal of the Bay tunnel and from the line along the easterly side of Newark bay by the bridges of the Central railroad of New Jersey (crossing the Hackensack and Passaic rivers) and of the Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley railroads (crossing Newark bay) to the line of the central railroad of New Jersey running along the westerly side of Newark bay and thence southerly along this line to a connection with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad south of Elizabethport, utilizing existing lines so far as practicable and improving and adding where necessary, a distance of approximately twelve miles; thence in an easterly direction crossing the Arthur kill, utilizing existing lines so far as practicable and improving and adding where necessary, along the northerly and easterly shores of Staten Island to the new city piers and to a connection, if the city of New York consent thereto, with the tunnel under the Narrows to Brooklyn provided for under chapter seven hundred of the laws of the state of New York for nineteen hundred and twenty-one. Number 2. A marginal railroad to the Bronx extending along the shore of the East river and Westchester creek connecting with the middle belt line (number one), and with the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad in the vicinity of Westchester. Number 3. A marginal railroad in Queens and Brooklyn extending along Flushing creek, Flushing bay, the East river and the upper New York bay. Connects with the middle belt line (number one), by lines number four, number five, number six and directly at the southerly end at Bay Ridge. Existing lines to be utilized and improved and added to and new lines built where lines do not now exist. Number 4. An existing line to be improved and added to where necessary. Connects the middle belt line (number one), with the marginal railroad number three near its northeasterly end. Number 5. An existing line to be improved and added to where necessary. Connects the middle belt line (number one), with the marginal railroad number three in Long Island City. Number 6. Connects the middle belt line (number one), with the marginal railroad number three in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. The existing portion to be improved and added to where necessary. Number 7. A marginal railroad surrounding the northerly and westerly shores of Jamaica bay. A new line. Connects with the middle belt line (number one). Number 8. An existing line, to be improved and added to where necessary. Extends along the southeasterly shore of Staten Island. Connects with middle belt line (number one). Number 9. A marginal railroad extending along the westerly shore of Staten Island and a branch connection with number eight. Connects with the middle belt line (number one), and with a branch from the outer belt line (number fifteen). Number 10. A line made up mainly of existing lines, to be improved and added to where necessary. Connects with the middle belt line (number one) by way of marginal railroad number eleven. Extends along the southerly shore of Raritan bay and through the territory south of the Raritan river reaching New Brunswick. Number 11. A marginal railroad extending from a connection with the proposed outer belt line (number fifteen) near New Brunswick along the northerly shore of the Raritan river to Perth Amboy, thence northerly along the westerly side of the Arthur kill to a connection with the middle belt line (number one) south of Elizabethport. The portion of this line which exists to be improved and added to where necessary. Number 12. A marginal railroad extending along the easterly shore of Newark bay and the Hackensack river and connects with the middle belt line (number one). A new line. Number 13. A marginal railroad extending along the westerly side of the Hudson river and the Upper New York bay. Made up mainly of existing lines----the Erie Terminals, Jersey Junction, Hoboken Shore, and National Docks railroads. To be improved and added to where necessary. To be connected with middle belt line (number one). Number 14. A marginal railroad connecting with the middle belt line (number one), and extending through the Hackensack and Secaucus meadows. Number 15. An outer belt line, extending around the westerly limits of the port district beyond the congested section. Northerly terminus on the Hudson river at Piermont. Connects by marginal railroads at the southerly end with the harbor waters below the congested section. By spurs connects with the middle belt line (number one) on the westerly shore of Newark bay and with the marginal railroad on the westerly shore of Staten Island (number nine). Number 16. The automatic electric system for serving Manhattan Island. Its yards to connect with the middle belt line and with all the railroads of the port district. A standard gauge underground railroad deep enough in Manhattan to permit of two levels of rapid transit subways to pass over it. Standard railroad cars to be brought through to Manhattan terminals for perishables and food products in refrigerator cars. Cars with merchandise freight to be stopped at its yards. Freight from standard cars to be transferred onto wheeled containers, thence to special electrically propelled cars which will bear it to Manhattan. Freight to be kept on wheels between the door of the standard freight car at the transfer point and the tail board of the truck at the Manhattan terminal or the store door as may be elected by the shipper or consignee, eliminating extra handling. Union terminal stations to be located on Manhattan in zones as far as practicable of equal trucking distance, as to pickups and deliveries, to be served by this system. Terminals to contain storage space and space for other facilities. The system to bring all the railroads of the port to Manhattan. § 6. The determination of the exact location, system and character of each of the said tunnels, bridges, belt lines, approaches, classification yards, warehouses, terminals or other improvements shall be made by the port authority after public hearings and further study, but in general the location thereof shall be as indicated upon said map, and as herein described. § 7. The right to add to, modify or change any part of the foregoing comprehensive plan is reserved by each state, with the concurrence of the other. § 8. The port of New York authority is hereby authorized and directed to proceed with the development of the port of New York in accordance with said comprehensive plan as rapidly as may be economically practicable and is hereby vested with all necessary and appropriate powers not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States or of either state, to effectuate the same, except the power to levy taxes or assessments. It shall request the congress of the United States to make such appropriations for deepening and widening channels and to make such grants of power as will enable the said plan to be effectuated. It shall have power to apply to all federal agencies, including the interstate commerce commission, the war department, and the United States shipping board, for suitable assistance in carrying out said plan. It shall cooperate with the state highway commissioners of each state so that trunk line highways as and when laid out by each state shall fit in with said comprehensive plan. It shall render such advice, suggestion and assistance to all municipal officials as will permit all local and municipal port and harbor improvements, so far as practicable, to fit in with said plan. All municipalities within the district are hereby authorized and empowered to cooperate in the effectuation of said plan, and are hereby vested with such powers as may be appropriate or necessary so to cooperate. The bonds or other securities issued by the port authority shall at all times be free from taxation by either state. The port authority shall be regarded as the municipal corporate instrumentality of the two states for the purpose of developing the port and effectuating the pledge of the states in the said compact, but it shall have no power to pledge the credit of either state or to impose any obligation upon either state, or upon any municipality, except as and when such power is expressly granted by statute, or the consent by any such municipality is given. § 9. The sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the expenses of the port authority. The moneys hereby appropriated shall be paid out by the state treasurer on the warrant of the comptroller upon vouchers audited by the chairman of the port authority. § 10. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed, and this act shall take effect immediately. § 11. To facilitate the determination of the economic practicability of any step in the said comprehensive plan, or of any other fact or matter which the port authority is authorized and empowered to decide or determine, the port authority may conduct investigations, inquiries or hearings at such place or places and at such times as it shall appoint. Such investigations, inquiries or hearings may be held by or before one or more of the commissioners of the port authority, or by or before any person or persons appointed as its representative, and when ratified, approved or confirmed by the port authority on its action shall be and be deemed to be the investigation, inquiry or hearing of the port authority. For the purpose of such investigations, inquiries or hearings, and of such other action or powers as the port authority may be authorized or empowered to take or exercise, it shall have jurisdiction of any and all persons, associations, or corporations, residing in, or acting or existing under or by virtue of the laws of, or owning property or coming within this state. § 12. Attendance of witness and production of documents. The port authority shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of any papers, books or other documents, and to administer oaths to all witnesses who may be called before it. Subpoenas issued by the port authority shall be signed by a commissioner or by the secretary of the port authority. No witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than the port authority shall be entitled to compensation therefrom for attendance or travel, but the cost thereof shall be borne by the party at whose instance the witness is summoned, unless the port authority otherwise orders. A subpoena issued under this section shall be regulated by the civil practice law and rules. § 13. 1. All hearings before the port authority, including the taking of testimony, shall be governed by rules to be adopted and prescribed by it. 2. In any investigation, inquiry or hearing before the port authority, a commissioner or an officer conducting the investigation, inquiry or hearing may confer immunity in accordance with the provisions of section 50.20 of the criminal procedure law. 3. No commissioner or employee of the port authority shall be required to give testimony in any civil suit to which the port authority is not a party with regard to information obtained by him in the discharge of his official duty. § 14. Every order of the port authority shall be served upon every person, association or corporation to be affected thereby, either by personal delivery of a certified copy thereof, or by mailing a certified copy thereof, in a sealed package with postage prepaid, to the person to be affected thereby; or in the case of a corporation to any officer or agent thereof upon whom a summons might be served, either within or without the state, in accordance with law. It shall be the duty of every person, association or corporation, to notify the port authority forthwith, in writing, of the receipt of the certified copy of every order so served, and in the case of a corporation such notification must be signed and acknowledged by a person or officer duly authorized by the corporation to admit such service. Within a time specified in the order of the port authority, such person, association or corporation, upon whom it is served, must, if so required in the order, notify the port authority in like manner whether the terms of the order are accepted and will be obeyed. Every order of the port authority shall take effect at a time therein specified and shall continue in force either for a period which may be designated therein, or until changed or abrogated by the port authority, unless such order be unauthorized by law, or be in violation of a provision of the constitution of the state, or of the United States. No order staying or suspending an order of the port authority shall be made by any court otherwise than upon notice and after hearing, and if the order of the port authority is suspended, the order suspending the same shall contain a specific finding based upon evidence submitted to the court and identified by reference thereto that great and irreparable damage would otherwise result to the petitioner and specifying the nature of the damage. § 15. Whenever the port authority shall be of the opinion that any person, association or corporation subject to its jurisdiction is failing or omitting, or about to fail or omit to do anything required of it by the laws governing the development and regulation of the port of New York, or by its order, or is doing or is about to do anything, or permitting, or about to permit anything to be done contrary to, or in violation of, such law or orders, it shall direct its legal representative to commence an action or proceeding in the name of the port authority, in an appropriate court having jurisdiction, for the purpose of having such violations, or threatened violations, stopped and prevented either by mandamus or injunction. Such an action or proceeding may be brought in the supreme court of this state, and the said court shall have and is hereby given the necessary and appropriate jurisdiction to grant mandamus or injunction, as the case may require, or any other relief appropriate to the case. Failure of such person, association or corporation to notify the port authority, as required in the preceding section, of its acceptance of and willingness to obey any order of the port authority shall be and be deemed to be prima facie proof that such person, association or corporation is guilty of such violation, or threatened violation. The legal representative of the port authority shall begin such action or proceeding by a petition to the appropriate court, alleging the violation complained of and praying for appropriate relief by way of mandamus or injunction. If the petition is directed to a court of this state, it shall thereupon be the duty of the court to specify the time, not exceeding twenty days after the service of a copy of the petition, within which the person, association or corporation complained of must answer the petition. In case of default in answer, or after answer, the court shall immediately inquire into the facts and circumstances, in such manner as the court shall direct, without other or formal pleadings and without respect to any technical requirement. Such other persons, associations or corporations as the court shall deem necessary or proper to join as parties, in order to make its order, judgment or writs effective, may be joined as parties upon application of the legal representative of the port authority. The final judgment in any such action or proceeding shall either dismiss the action or proceeding, or direct that a writ of mandamus, or an injunction, or both, issue as prayed for in the petition, or in such modified or other form as the court may determine will afford the appropriate relief. § 16. Whenever the port authority, after opportunity to the parties affected or to be affected thereby to be heard, shall determine any fact or matter which it is authorized by any law to hear or determine, or that any step in the effectuation of the comprehensive plan is or in the near future will be economically practicable, it shall make its findings in writing, setting forth its reasons therefor, and such findings shall be and be deemed to be a determination by the port authority, under and pursuant to law. Upon such determination an appropriate order may be entered by the port authority and be made effective and may be enforced as herein provided. If such findings or determination shall require the use of existing facilities or any part thereof described in the law, owned or operated by any carrier or carriers, then the port authority may order and require the carrier or carriers owning or operating said railroad facilities or part thereof to permit the use of such facilities or part thereof upon the payment of reasonable compensation therefor. If the carrier or carriers affected or to be affected by such order shall not be able, within the time to be specified in its order by the port authority, to agree among themselves upon the compensation to be paid by a user to a proprietor or operator for the use of such existing facilities or part thereof, then the port authority shall make determination of the amount to be paid by the user to the proprietary carrier or carriers, taking all the facts and circumstances into account, including the public use to which such facilities have been put; or, at its option, the port authority may apply to the supreme court of this state, either in a separate proceeding or in proceedings by mandamus or injunction to enforce its order, to fix and determine the fair and reasonable compensation to be paid by the user to the proprietary carrier or carriers for such use. If any carrier shall be dissatisfied with the findings of the port authority in the matter of the compensation to be paid for the use of any existing facility, it shall have the right to review the same in the supreme court of this state by taking appropriate proceedings for such review within sixty days from the service of the order of the port authority, but pending such review the order for the use of such facilities shall be operative, the determination of the compensation by the court to relate back to the time of the commencement of such user, unless the court shall for good and proper reasons enjoin the operation of such order. If, in the determination of steps to effectuate the comprehensive plan, the port authority shall determine that one or more union terminal stations are then, or in the near future, economically practicable, it shall call a conference of all the carriers affected or to be affected by the use of such terminal stations or station and shall submit to them a plan or plans for the construction, maintenance and use thereof. If the carriers or any of them shall fail or refuse to agree upon such plan, the port authority shall make and certify its findings and conclusions to the supreme court of this state, and the said court is vested with appropriate and adequate jurisdiction to determine whether or not such plan or plans for a union station or stations effectuate the comprehensive plan, and to make such conditions and impose such terms as will carry out the same in accordance with the principles embraced in the comprehensive plan and the laws governing the same. § 17. All actions and proceedings to which the port authority may be a party and in which any question arises under the laws relating to the port authority, or under or concerning any of its orders or actions, shall be preferred over all other civil causes, except election causes, in all courts of this state and shall be heard and determined in preference to all other civil business pending therein, except election causes, irrespective of position on the calendar. The same preference shall be granted upon application of the legal representative of the port authority, in any action or proceeding in which he may be allowed to intervene.
Last modified: February 3, 2019