New construction support facility to open at John F. Kennedy International Airport

Posted: 4 October 2023 | | No comments yet

The new construction support facility will eliminate more than 300,000 truck trips across local streets.


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the start of operations at a new construction support facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport that 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 historic $19 billion 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 – enough to circumnavigate the Earth 60 times.

The construction support facility will perform multiple functions throughout the redevelopment of JFK International Airport, 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.

“The transformation of JFK International Airport into what will soon be a world-class, global gateway is another example of how the Port Authority is using innovative strategies to move major redevelopment projects forward sustainably while minimising the impacts of construction on our neighbours. We are making every effort to create a new airport that our region and our closest neighbours can be proud of,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.

“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, N.Y.-based Modern Efficient Transport and Supply LLC (METS), an affiliate of Grace Industries LLC, and a division under the Haugland Group LLC, to build and operate the on-airport construction support facility. Under the contract, METS has built a marine transport facility that uses water access to JFK at Bergen Basin at the western end of the airport property.

The Port Authority anticipates that barges will carry bulk materials such as sand, aggregate, steel and other building materials to the airport and remove non-hazardous debris and soil from the construction sites on the airport, with the capacity to responsibly recycle up to 75 percent of certain categories of construction debris. The use of alternative fuels for marine equipment, if available, is also encouraged.

Development, management and operation of the construction support facility is subject to the Port Authority’s subcontracting participation goals of 20 percent by minority-owned business enterprises, 10 percent by women-owned business enterprises and 3 percent 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.

Environmental benefits of the facility will include:

  • Reduced trucking activity in the surrounding communities;
  • Reduced emissions and disbursal of dust and other particulates associated with the transportation of construction materials and construction debris;
  • Efficient use of the airport’s water access for transfer of bulk materials to and from the airport;
  • Advancement of the Port Authority’s sustainability goals by encouraging responsible recycling of construction debris.

“Our port is the economic hub of New York City, and JFK International Airport is at the heart of my district,” saidU.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks of New York. “This project allows for both entities to continue to thrive. It also simplifies the construction process and allows for residents to have additional employment opportunities. In the coming weeks, you can expect fewer truck trips down local streets, reduced environmental impact in nearby neighborhoods, and significantly lower noise pollution for our communities.” 

“The $19 billion redevelopment of Kennedy Airport is much more than a massive investment in the region’s economy, the aviation industry and the millions of travellers who use the airport each year. It’s also a seismic commitment to safer streets, cleaner air and the airport’s neighbours — the residents and small businesses in the surrounding communities that deserve to benefit from the redevelopment plan as much as anyone else,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “With this new construction support facility, we are not only getting countless trucks off local community streets and reducing vehicle pollution, we are doing so while connecting area small businesses to one of the largest and most critical economic development projects in Queens’ history. Thank you to the Port Authority for your continued commitment to Queens, its economy and its families.”

“Community Board 10 welcomes this new facility to our area. Virtually all of our 130,000-plus residents are impacted in one way or another by the presence of JFK Airport here. For many that’s aircraft noise, for many others it’s trucking, for some it’s both. We look forward to the completion of the JFK redevelopment and we appreciate that this construction facility will support that major construction work by drastically reducing truck traffic. Doing concrete production on-airport and using the waterways to move outgoing debris and incoming materials is a plus for all of our residents as it will reduce truck traffic as well as reducing noise and emissions that trucking brings,” said Betty Braton, chair of Queens Community Board 10. “Community Board 10’s residents appreciate the Port Authority’s effort to advance a major construction project with a focus on resolving community concerns as part of the mix.”

Redeveloping JFK Airport in lockstep with the local community

In 2018, the JFK Redevelopment Community Advisory Council was formed. It is co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, and is composed of elected officials, community boards, business and nonprofit organisations, civic organisations, and clergy leaders from the targeted local communities of southeast Queens, southwest Queens, the Rockaways, and western portions of Nassau County.

Since its inception, the council has been working with the Port Authority to expand community outreach efforts and develop community-focused programmes. Its goal is to ensure that this ambitious project solicits ongoing feedback from local stakeholders and provides meaningful opportunities for local businesses, MWBEs, students, and jobseekers, while also reducing the environmental impact of the airport’s redevelopment. This includes programming to advance the Port Authority’s commitment to a 30 percent MWBE contracting goal in all categories of work, and a special focus on opportunities for local businesses across all aspects of the JFK redevelopment programme, including terminal projects, which will be built by union labour under full project-labour agreements. Other community development initiatives prioritised by the council focus on job opportunities and workforce development programmes for residents, small business outreach and development, and educational programming for local students.



Transforming JFK Into a world-class global gateway

In January 2017, the JFK Vision Plan was announced to transform the airport into the world-class airport that New Yorkers deserve. The plan provides a strategic framework for the Port Authority and its partners to completely redevelop, modify and expand existing facilities and infrastructure. The $9.5 billion development of a state-of-the-art New Terminal One that will anchor the airport’s south side broke ground in September 2022. A new $4.2 billion Terminal 6 broke ground in February and will connect seamlessly to Terminal 5, creating an anchor terminal on the airport’s north side. The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta Air Lines and JFK International Air Terminal, is now under construction and will be complete by the end of this year. Additionally, a $400 million modernisation and expansion of Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the terminal, and British Airways, which relocated to Terminal 8 late last year, was substantially completed in November 2022.

All privately financed terminal projects, combined with the Port Authority’s roadway, parking and infrastructure projects, represent a $19 billion transformation of JFK and an extraordinary series of public-private partnerships. The Port Authority capital investment of $3.9 billion is leveraging private investment at a rate of nearly four to one when taking into account the full private investment of more than $15 billion that has been committed to the four terminal projects comprising the full JFK redevelopment programme.

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