About the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project

About the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project

The replacement bridge will be located directly south of the existing bridge and will provide:

  • Three 12-foot-wide lanes in each direction replacing the current two narrow 10-foot-wide lanes
  • A 12-foot-wide outer shoulder and a 5-foot-wide inner shoulder in each direction
  • A 10-foot-wide sidewalk/bikeway along the northern edge of the New Jersey-bound roadway
  • Improved safety conditions and performance reliability by meeting current geometric design, structural integrity, security and seismic standards, and reduces life-cycle cost
  • A central corridor between the eastbound and westbound roadway decks, sufficient to accommodate potential transit service
  • State-of-the-art smart bridge technology

The project also includes the demolition of the existing bridge upon completion of the replacement bridge.


Newsletters

Volume 2, Summer 2014, English / Spanish

Volume 1, Spring 2014, English / Spanish


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why is it necessary to replace the Goethals Bridge now?
  2. How does the replacement bridge benefit the region?
  3. What is the economic benefit of the replacement bridge?
  4. How will the replacement Goethals Bridge differ from the existing bridge?
  5. What is smart bridge technology?
  6. How is the Goethals Bridge Replacement funded?
  7. Why did the Port Authority seek outside funding sources for its toll bridge?
  8. Was it necessary for the Port Authority to acquire any property for the project?
  9. What were the results of the environmental review?
  10. What are the impacts to my community?
  11. Will there be delays or closures during construction? Where can I find information about that?
  12. Will there be public transit on the bridge?
  13. What are the projected construction start and completion dates?
  14. Who is the developer?
  15. Will union labor be employed?


  1. Why is it necessary to replace the Goethals Bridge now?
    The Goethals Bridge was constructed in 1928 to criteria and standards of that time. Given present-day traffic volume, commercial growth and new standards, the Bridge is now functionally obsolete. The existing 10-foot-wide narrow lanes are substandard as compared to current standards of 12-foot-wide lanes, and present a safety issue for trucks and wider vehicles. The lack of roadway shoulders with only two lanes of traffic in each direction causes congestion during peak traffic periods and impedes access during emergencies. The current design provides no access for pedestrians or bicyclists.

    If the bridge is not replaced now, additional repairs in the hundreds of millions of dollars would be necessary and the existing bridge would remain functionally obsolete.


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  2. How does the replacement bridge benefit the region?
    More lanes, wider lanes, shoulders, bicycle pedestrian access are all new features for this important traffic thoroughfare. Additionally the replacement will be built with new structural standards, among them seismic protections.

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  3. What is the economic benefit of the replacement bridge?
    It is estimated that the Goethals Bridge replacement project will create 2,250 direct jobs, paying a total of $224 million in wages, and generating $872 million in total economic activity for the region.

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  4. How will the replacement Goethals Bridge differ from the existing bridge?
    The Goethals Bridge replacement is modernizing a critical piece of New York and New Jersey infrastructure. The current bridge, opened in 1928, has four 10-foot-wide lanes which are inadequate for modern trucks. The new bridge will have six 12-foot-wide lanes with shoulders, allowing Goethals to better accommodate the more than 14 million vehicles that cross it annually (eastbound) today.

    In addition, the new Goethals Bridge will add a 10-foot-wide pedestrian and bike/walkway on its north side. The replacement bridge design allows for a future corridor for transit such as bus lanes or light rail between the eastbound and westbound roadways.

    The Goethals Replacement will also provide state-of-the-art smart bridge technology, including Roadway Weather Information Systems that collect environmental data such as wind speed, visibility, and pavement temperature. A Traffic Detection System will use sensors to provide alerts on traffic build-up so incident response plans may be quickly implemented.


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  5. What is smart bridge technology?
    Smart bridge technology provides continuous electronic monitoring of bridge structures using a network of sensors at critical points. The sensors can spot potentially serious problems before they might be apparent to a human inspector, as well as help determine how a bridge will behave under heavy traffic, in severe weather conditions and during other potentially hazardous situations.

    The Goethals Bridge will utilize smart bridge technologies including Roadway Weather Information Systems, which will collect environmental data such as wind speed, visibility, and pavement temperature.


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  6. How is the Goethals Bridge Replacement funded?
    On April 24, 2013, the Port Authority authorized award of a $1.5 billion Public-Private Partnership (P3) to NYNJ Link Partnership to provide the design, build, finance, and maintenance for a replacement to the Goethals Bridge, which opened in 1928. This P3 is a financial arrangement between the private sector and the Port Authority to fund the bridge replacement. The Port Authority will operate it. As part of the P3 effort, the selected developer is also pursuing federal funding.

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  7. Why did the Port Authority seek outside funding sources for its toll bridge?
    Risk transfer - The Goethals Bridge replacement is a highly complex project. The P3 structure will transfer substantial risk for potential construction overruns and the long-term cost and quality of maintenance to the Developer.
    Efficiency and long-term alignment of interests - The developer, NYNJ Link, will be paid for performance by the Port Authority over the life of the P3 instead of receiving the upfront payment that would be required under a more traditional financing scheme. Should the developer underperform or if the replacement bridge develops problems during its service period, the Port Authority will be able to reduce payment. This payment scheme will align the interests of Port Authority and of the developer in designing and implementing a project as efficiently as possible, and in providing high-quality design, construction, upkeep and user service.
    Attractive and increased financing capacity - The Port Authority will repay the costs of construction to the developer over the life of the P3 once the project is complete—which has allowed the Port Authority to commence procurement for the project more quickly. The commitment from the Port Authority to the developer will be junior to the Port Authority's commitment to its Consolidated Bond Holders (and similar to the commitment it makes for variable rate notes and, in the past, commercial paper).


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  8. Was it necessary for the Port Authority to acquire any property for the project?
    Yes. The Port Authority acquired vacant, residential and commercial property to construct the replacement bridge structure. To read more about permanent impacts and to see a graphic depiction of potential land use impacts, click here.

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  9. What were the results of the environmental review?
    The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was completed and published in August 2010 under the auspices of the US Coast Guard. This document was prepared to assess the environmental, transportation, and socio-economic impacts of the Goethals Bridge Replacement, and to satisfy the requirements set forth under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and the New York City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). The Record of Decision (ROD), which details the US Coast Guard's identification of the environmentally preferred alternative, and documents the commitments and mitigation measures that the Port Authority will undertake as part of the project, was issued in January 2011. Subsequently as federal funds were sought by the P3 developer the NEPA process needed to accommodate the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s NEPA requirements. As such the NEPA process was enhanced to include FHWA;s requirements with the FHWA issuing its own ROD June 2013. View details on the EIS here.

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  10. What are the impacts to my community?
    Any construction project brings impacts, and the Port Authority has discussed these with community stakeholders throughout the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process . The variety of impacts to local communities was detailed in the NEPA Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), a comprehensive study of the environmental and social impacts of the replacement bridge project. The Port Authority and developer have identified mitigation plans for any potential local impacts, both short- and long-term, and will include updates on our Port Authority website. To learn more, click for the following sections: Socio Economic; Environmental Justice; Community Facilities.
    The Goethals Bridge Replacement website will be regularly updated to provide information on construction progress and any impacts, such as noise or vibration.


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  11. Will there be delays or closures during construction? Where can I find information about that?
    Starting in  the fall of 2014 new traffic pattern will affect motorists  traveling eastbound onto the Goethals Bridge from  NJ Turnpike Exit 13 and Cole Place. Temporary approach ramp roads will be constructed on I-278 to ease the flow of traffic as the Goethals Bridge construction proceeds. This new traffic pattern will affect motorists  traveling eastbound onto the Goethals Bridge from  NJ Turnpike Exit 13 and Cole Place. While travelers will not experience the change until the fall, construction for this changeover will start this summer. Customers will be notified of the exact date of this traffic pattern change well in advance of implementation.

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  12. Will there be public transit on the bridge?
    In preparing for a more sustainable regional transportation network, the bridge designs include the potential for public transit in the future.

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  13. What are the projected construction start and completion dates?
    Project started: May 2014. Projected completion: Late 2018.

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  14. Who is the developer?
    NYNJ Link Developer LLC—a consortium formed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and Kiewit Infrastructure Company—is responsible for the design, construction and financing of the replacement bridge, and will provide maintenance for 35 years after substantial completion of the bridge. The Port Authority will retain certain operations of the new bridge, including toll collection.

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  15. Will union labor be employed?
    The Goethals Bridge construction project will employ 100% union craft labor for operations, managements and capital improvement.

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