In 1930, the two states gave the Port Authority control of the recently opened Holland Tunnel as a financial cornerstone. Immediately, we began blazing new paths in transportation, engineering, law and administration - a precedent that is still seen today through our commitment to the people of this region, and the region's advancement. The Port Authority's first charge was to construct the critical interstate crossings in the late 1920s and early 1930s, including the George Washington Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing, the Goethals and Bayonne bridges. In 1937, the first tube of the Lincoln Tunnel was completed.
In the late 1940s, at the cities' request, the Port Authority leased three airports from Newark, NJ and New York City in anticipation of the jet age. Newark and LaGuardia airports, along with an infant airport on a large meadow destined to become John F. Kennedy International, were linked into a regional aviation network.
In the 1950s and 1960s, we built the Port Authority Bus Terminal and added a second deck to the George Washington Bridge. We completed the Lincoln Tunnel's third tube, rebuilt many Brooklyn piers and developed the world's first containerports at Port Newark and the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal. The Port Authority also acquired the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad and began operating it as the PATH rail transit system.
In the 1970s, we helped advance the region's interests in port and trade promotion through construction of The World Trade Center, which brought together private firms and government agencies engaged in international business. The two towers became the hallmark of the New York City skyline, reaching higher than any other skyscraper in the city. Today, the memory of the Twin Towers remains a symbol of unity, freedom and strength as we help to rebuild Lower Manhattan.
During the 1980s, the Port Authority began a bistate program of industrial redevelopment, aimed at helping the region retain manufacturing firms and jobs. We developed various projects in the two states: The Teleport, a telecommunications center in Staten Island, NY; the Legal Center in Newark, NJ; a resource recovery plant; industrial parks and waterfront development in New York and New Jersey.
In the mid-1990s, we concentrated our efforts on the transportation and trade projects that constitute our core mission. Among significant improvements, we developed ExpressRail, the on-dock ship-to-rail transfer terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; enhanced facilities at our three regional airports; installed a system to provide train status information in stations to PATH riders; and introduced the E-ZPassSM electronic toll collection system at our tunnels and bridges and an Intelligent Transportation System at the George Washington Bridge.