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Port Authority May Delay Deadline for New Terminal Plans Amid CB4 Concerns

 The Port Authority Bus Terminal on Eighth Avenue.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal on Eighth Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

HELL’S KITCHEN — The deadline for finalists submitting plans for a new Port Authority bus terminal could be pushed back amid concerns the agency is moving forward without community input, officials said.

At a Port Authority board meeting on Thursday, Community Board 4 officials urged the agency to delay an August submission deadline for five teams chosen as finalists in an international design competition seeking plans for a facility to replace the current terminal on Eighth Avenue.

The agency had announced the finalists — international firm Perkins Eastman, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, a team led by Archilier Architecture, a team led by Arcadis and a joint venture between STV and AECOM — a day before, a Port Authority spokesman said.

“The competitors have essentially two months to put together a proposal for a $10 billion project, arguably more complicated than rebuilding the World Trade Center. This is not enough,” CB4 transportation committee co-chairwoman Christine Berthet said.

“There is no reason to go ahead and rush it,” CB4 chairwoman Delores Rubin added. “It needs to be done correctly."

At a press conference after the meeting, chairman of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners John Degnan said he was working with the board to schedule a July meeting between CB4's executive committee and the design competitors.

“If it’s necessary after that meeting to delay by a month the final submissions of the concepts, we’d be willing to consider that,” he said.

“We do not want to rush this through in a way that deprives either the community, or frankly, even more importantly, the city of New York,” he added.

For months, CB4 has expressed concerns that construction of the new Port Authority bus terminal could “obliterate” Hell’s Kitchen by demolishing existing buildings.

Dozens of neighborhood residents voiced their opposition to any plan that involves razing portions of the neighborhood at an April town hall meeting.

On Monday, Berthet said competition finalists should have the opportunity to incorporate input from residents who would be affected by their plans

A date for the July meeting has not yet been set, she said.

“[Meeting in July] would leave only two weeks for the contestants to take input from the community and convert that into a submission,” she said.

“If they have to change anything in their designs based on that, there will not be an opportunity to do that.”