The Bayonne Bridge, an historical civic engineering landmark, designed by legendary engineer Othmar H. Ammann, is the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world, and was the longest in the world at the time of its completion. It connects Bayonne, New Jersey, with Staten Island, New York, spanning the Kill Van Kull. Construction began in September 1928 and was completed in 1931. The primary purpose of the bridge was to allow vehicular traffic from Staten Island to reach Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.
Today, the 151-foot air draft restriction beneath the Bayonne Bridge is an obstacle for larger ships doing business with marine terminals west of the Bridge -- at Port Newark and the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminals in New Jersey, and at Howland Hook on Staten Island, New York. The US Army Corps of Engineers' September 2009 Bayonne Bridge Air Draft Analysis indicated that raising the Bridge to eliminate the current air draft restriction will produce an estimated $3.3-billion dollar national benefit, which is independent (i.e., above and beyond) of the benefits available from the completion of 50-foot harbor deepening project. This preliminary benefits estimate recognizes that 12% of all US international containers pass under the Bridge. In addition, a New York Shipping Association, Inc. study found that the ports are an economic engine for the region, generating over 269,900 direct and indirect jobs and nearly $11 billion in annual wages.
As a result, we are taking action to solve the problem. On December 29, 2010, the Port Authority announced our "Raise the Roadway" alternative to provide the most effective solution to the Bayonne Bridge clearance issue — raising the bridge's roadway to approximately 215 feet to increase the existing 151-foot navigational clearance restrictions. The 64 feet of additional air draft will allow the Port of New York and New Jersey to benefit from the increased deployment of larger, operationally efficient and environmentally beneficial vessels, via the Suez and an expanded Panama Canal, to reach the port's main terminals. These 7,000 TEU and larger vessels produce dramatically lower per slot shipping – cost savings that flow through the supply chain and ultimately result in lower consumer prices.
The proposed billion-dollar bridge will modernize its roadway portions while retaining the character and historic design of the 80-year-old facility.
The Port Authority and its maritime tenants have consistently invested in cranes terminals and landside access systems to support the economies of scale advantages delivered from post-Panamax ships. The raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadway will help the port continue to serve as a national gateway through:
For more information on the Port of New York and New Jersey, please visit www.portnynj.info
In addition to solving the navigational clearance problem for the shipping industry, "Raise the Roadway" has significant long-term benefits for drivers, walkers, and cyclists:
The goal behind including an LBE program in the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project (BBNCP) is to actively pursue local businesses to offer them the opportunity to work and to be part of a major construction effort/milestone in the region's history, while enhancing the local economy.
Because of both the localized impact and the reconstruction of the Navigational Clearance Program, team members agreed it was necessary to better define what geographic area was considered local in relation to the Bayonne Bridge. The method selected was to look at not only where customers were originating from, but also the counties in which they reside. An analysis of origin and destination data was helpful to determine that following counties constitute the majority of affected customers:
The Port Authority carefully identified key areas of construction that could be subcontracted in order to inform local businesses, specifically, what work would be available to them. In addition, this LBE Program uniquely seeks to expand the types of services, work and procurement opportunities beyond traditional construction work.
The key to success for LBE participation is reaching out and interfacing with the business community in the local areas. We want to put in motion this effort and lead the initial dialogue by hosting the first meeting with LBEs (in each county), at which all pre-qualified Contracting teams will be required to attend. During the fall of 2012 outreach events were held for local business in Richmond County, NY and Hudson, Union, and Essex counties in New Jersey. This purpose of this initial outreach effort was three-fold:
Gov. Chris Christie (at podium), visited the Bayonne Bridge in September to praise the Port Authority's plan to increase the clearance height to permit taller ships to enter the port. Christie is joined by (left to right) Bayonne Councilman Terrance Ruane, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, State Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham, Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires.
Video Links: Gov. Chris Christie | U.S. Rep. Albio Sires | Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith | International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) International Executive Vice President Harold J. Daggett | ILA Atlantic Coast District President Stephen Knott | New York Shipping Association President Joseph C. Curto
"This [port] industry will remain a vital part of New Jersey's economy and the region's economy for the foreseeable future now as we replace this bridge." – Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor
"The Bayonne Bridge has been a major priority of mine and I have advocated for the raising of the bridge to help save over 250,000 jobs. I applaud the teamwork necessary from the Port Authority, Mayor Mark Smith and his administration, the State of New Jersey, and the entire Congressional Delegation." – U.S. Rep Albio Sires
"The bridge is critical to the circle of mobility in the region." - Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith
"Today's announcement is part of two very important initiatives of the Christie Administration – job creation and ensuring our regional competitiveness." – Kim Guadagno, New Jersey Lt. Governor
"I come before you today, [representing] the tens of thousands of ILA workers and their families, to thank Governor Christie for his valuable leadership in urging the Port Authority to authorize one billion dollars for the capital budget to address the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance limitation." - International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) International Executive Vice President Harold J. Daggett
"We are committed to getting projects like the Bayonne Bridge to market quickly while protecting our environment at the same time. Raising the Roadway will allow larger container ships, burning less fuel per container and deploying the latest ballast water and other environmentally friendly technology, to enter our port. I look forward to welcoming post-Panamax ships to our shores in 2015." - Pat Foye, Port Authority Executive Director
"Raising the Bayonne Bridge is the most critical infrastructure project facing the Port Authority and the region. That is why this project is the top priority of the Port Authority, and we are confident that when the Panama Canal opens, that first ship through the canal will then pass under the new Bayonne Bridge to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey—the premier destination of cargo on the East Coast." - David Samson, Port Authority Chairman
"This project is a prime example of how the Port Authority is working to cut red tape and expedite reviews that delay the delivery of important projects. Every day that we can move this project forward is good for our port and good for the region." - Scott Rechler, Port Authority Vice Chairman
"Thanks to the hard work of Port Authority staff – and our federal, state and local partners – we will be able to Raise the Roadway ahead of the Panama Canal. This critical infrastructure project will create more than 6,300 construction jobs and ensure the 279,000 jobs supported by the port will continue to flourish." - Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni
"[The board's actions] shows the Port Authority's commitment to ensure larger, more modern ships can continue to access the East Coast's largest port and in turn continue to operate as an economic engine for New Jersey and the entire region." – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez
"The Bayonne Bridge height restriction is a critical issue to both Staten Island and New Jersey's economy. I am pleased to see that the Port Authority's "raise the roadway" solution does not cause anyone to lose their home and that the Port Authority will be working with the Staten Island community to make sure we are comfortable during and after construction. I am also pleased that the Port Authority is open to exploring mass transit options across the future Bayonne Bridge." - Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro
"Raising the height restrictions of the Bayonne Bridge is necessary in order for our North Shore maritime industry to remain vital for future generations. Therefore, I am happy to hear that the PA's 'raise the roadway' solution takes into account Staten Island residents concerns regarding their property and potential traffic conditions during construction. This project will also create jobs for residents. I know the PA will respect our neighborhoods and traffic issues during construction." - Council Member Debi Rose (49th District, Staten Island)
The constructability review confirmed that removal of the existing roadway and erection of the new higher roadway can be performed using a number of construction methods. For example:
An overhead gantry can be used for lifting operations. Overhead gantrys can be used on the main span (as demonstrated by the conceptual animation) and to construct the approach roadway on top of the new piers.
The constructability review also confirmed that the Contractor will be able to maintain one lane of traffic in each direction and minimize night closures.
To learn more about how we will "Raise the Roadway" of the Bayonne Bridge, click here to watch a video.
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), as the lead agency, has prepared a Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program.
Public meetings on this program were held by the USCG in February 2013 in Bayonne, Staten Island, and Newark, during a 60 day public comment period on a Draft Environmental Assessment. After reviewing all public comments, the United States Coast Guard has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). A Notice of Availability, the FONSI, the FEA, and a project summary translated in Spanish and Portuguese can be found on the Federal Register website.
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If you have any questions related to the Bayonne Bridge project, please send us an email at bayonnebridge@panynj
.gov or call 201-395-3907.
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