Revered and reviled in almost equal amounts since its inception, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been responsible for creating and maintaining much of New York and New Jersey's transportation infrastructure-the things that make the region work. Doig traces the evolution of the Port Authority from the battles leading to its creation in 1921 through its conflicts with the railroads and its expansion to build bridges and tunnels for motor vehicles. Chronicling the adroit maneuvers that led the Port Authority to take control of the region's airports and seaport operations, build the largest bus terminal in the nation, and construct the World Trade Center, Doig reveals the rise to power of one of the world's largest specialized regional governments.
This definitive history of the Port Authority underscores the role of several key players-Austin Tobin, the obscure lawyer who became Executive Director and a true "power broker" in the bi-state region, Julius Henry Cohen, general counsel of the Port Authority for its first twenty years, and Othmar H. Ammann, the Swiss engineer responsible for the George Washington Bridge, the Bayonne and Goethels bridges, the Outerbridge Crossing, and the Lincoln Tunnel.
Today, with public works projects stalled by community opposition in almost every village and city, the story of how the Port Authority managed to create an empire on the Hudson offers lessons for citizens and politicians everywhere.