By Hilary Russ
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York and New Jersey's bi-state transportation agency on Tuesday began seeking proposals to develop a master plan for the $10 billion renovation of John F. Kennedy International Airport, a pet project of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo said in a statement that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates JFK and several other area airports, is accepting proposals from private firms for preliminary engineering and design work on the project.
JFK "is an international gateway to New York and a powerful economic engine with the potential to grow even stronger," Cuomo said.
He first proposed the redesign in January as yet another salvo in his effort to push roughly $100 billion of infrastructure projects throughout the state.
The JFK proposal is based on recommendations from a study panel and would transform the New York City airport, in the borough of Queens, by unifying its disconnected terminals.
It would also redesign internal roadways to eliminate bottlenecks, expand AirTrain rail access, centralize parking lots and revamp amenities.
The state agreed to invest $1.5 billion to improve the Van Wyck Expressway, which leads to the airport, and the nearby Kew Gardens Interchange to improve access and cut down on congestion.
Only certain firms will be considered. They must, for example, have completed a master plan in the last decade worth $5 million or more for a major hub airport serving at least 15 million air passengers.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Sandra Maler)