Bridge & Tunnel Environmental Initiatives

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s six tunnels and bridges and three bus terminals (TB&T) handle about 9 million vehicles a month and are indispensable to the people who live and work in the region. Not only do these facilities connect commuters to their workplaces and homes, they facilitate the movement of goods and services that keep our economy working.

Through leadership, partnership, and investment, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is committed to minimizing the impact of its operations on the environment. The agency continually reaffirms this commitment to safeguarding the environment with specific initiatives. Recent initiatives within TB&T described below reduce energy and water usage, improve air quality, and eliminate waste.

Green Technology Reduces Greenhouse Gasses by 3,000 Tons Annually

Energy and water conservation programs at TB&T will reduce greenhouse gasses by an estimated 3,000 tons a year. The agency has installed throughout its bridges, tunnels, and terminals:

  • 5,000 LEDs
  • Seven new boilers and eight new chillers
  • 440 energy efficient windows
  • 38 high speed garage doors

Modernized Infrastructure Reduces Auto Emissions and Improves Air Quality

In May 2018, the new $1.5-billion Goethals Bridge opened, replacing the original one which was opened in 1928. Not only does the new bridge reduce congestion and thereby emissions, it also includes energy saving projects at the Goethals Bridge Administration Building that combine historic infrastructure with modern green technology.

The new raised Bayonne Bridge, which opened in 2017, does more than enable the world’s largest ships to enter the port. It is designed to decrease vehicle idle time with all electric or cashless tolling for a more efficient flow yielding such benefits:

  • Enhances safety as fewer vehicles need to merge
  • Reduces traffic congestion by 85%
  • Reduces auto emissions improving air quality

At the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT), a gate redesign has resulted in less bus congestion and fewer delays, translating into reduced bus emissions and improved local air quality. The successful implementation of combined gates for long hauls, shorter commuter operations has eliminated bus crowding on platforms, congestion and decreased delays.

The Holland Tunnel Green Roof reduces storm water runoff, heat island effects and energy usage while increasing the life of the roof.

Recycling Policy Sets the Standard

In 2018, the Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Department formalized its already comprehensive recycle program with a codified recycling policy for its tenants and customers. The policy states: “In conformance with State and City Laws, TB&T mandates that all solid waste generated under the jurisdiction of TB&T that can be economically and feasibly reused or recycled must be recovered and disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner.”

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