Goethals Bridge Replacement

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Images of the existing and new design of the Goethals Bridge

Goethals Bridge Replacement Public Private Partnership

The Goethals Bridge is essential to moving cargo between airports and seaports and regional markets in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. As part of a complex surface transportation, network, its strategic location places it at the center of one of the largest air cargo gateways in the nation and provides truck and auto connections between the New Jersey Turnpike, Routes 1 & 9 and other New Jersey highways, the Staten Island Expressway (I-278), and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

More than $33 billion of regional goods pass over the bridge each year. Eastbound traffic totaled over 14 million vehicles in 2012. Since 2001, the Bridge has provided corridor redundancy for national security and homeland preparedness.

On April 24, 2013, the Port Authority authorized award of a historic $1.5 billion Public-Private Partnership (P3) to NYNJ Link Partnership to provide the design, build, finance, and maintenance for a replacement to the 80 plus year old Goethals Bridge. This P3 is a financial arrangement between the private sector and a government agency to fund the bridge replacement and the Port Authority will operate it. The new bridge will be located directly south of the existing bridge. In an earlier Request for Qualifications process, three developers were deemed best qualified to participate in a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) of the new bridge. The process also includes the demolition of the existing bridge upon completion of a new bridge. As part of the P3 effort, the Agency is also pursuing federal funding.

Proposed Design

The new alignment will consist of the construction of a cable-stayed bridge over the Arthur Kill south of the existing bridge. The new bridge will contain:

  • Six 12-foot wide travel lanes, three lanes in each direction
  • A 12-foot wide outer shoulder, and a 5-foot wide inner shoulder on each roadway;
  • A 10-foot wide sidewalk/bikeway along the northern edge of the New Jersey bound roadway;
  • A central area to be maintained between the eastbound and westbound roadway decks, sufficient to accommodate the provision of future transit service.

EIS Process

In January 2011, capping a 6.5-year process, the Port Authority secured the National Environmental Policy Act Record of Decision (NEPA ROD). The ROD established the Right of Way alignment.

Learn more about the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement, which evaluated alternatives for the Goethals Bridge Replacement.

For more information on the Port of New York and New Jersey, please visit www.portnynj.info

Looking north along the Arthur Kill with the new Goethals in the foreground

Side view of the replacement bridge

The sidewalk/bikeway on the replacement bridge

The three-lane roadway of the replacement bridge

A night view of the bridge's roadway

The Public Private Partnership (P3) effort is the next step after the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) issuance of its Record of Decision. While the USCG was the federal lead agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration served as cooperating agencies for the environmental review.

  • April 2013 – PANYNJ Board authorizes a historic $1.5 billion public-private partnership for replacement of the Goethals Bridge. Click here for details.
  • November 2011 – PANYNJ Board authorizes property acquisition in New York and New Jersey
  • June 2011 – Short list of proposers announced and invited to respond to Request for Proposal (RFP) when it is issued. Click here to see the Goethals Bridge prequalified lists
  • March 2011 - PANYNJ Board authorizes Phase I to advance replacement, including program management, environmental, technical, financial and relocation analyses to support the development of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Design Build Finance and Maintenance of a replacement Goethals Bridge
  • January 2011 – USCG issued Record of Decision
  • November 2010 – Issued Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
  • August 2010 – FEIS issued
  • August 2004 - The Federal Register published the Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the proposed replacement of the Goethals Bridge.
  • September 2003 – PANYNJ Board authorizes planning, including preparation of an EIS for the Goethals Bridge Replacement

Next Steps

  • Right-of-Way (property) acquisition process
  • Federal funding
  • Final Design Process

Articles

  • Port Authority winnows field of Goethals Bridge finalists to 3
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the Goethals, has winnowed to three the number of teams that can bid on the $1.5 billion job; eight teams had answered the Request for Qualifications.
  • Private Company To Build New Goethals Bridge
    For the first time in more than 100 years, a private company will build, maintain and put up the money for a major bridge out of New York City. Experts predict the marriage with the private sector...is the wave of the future. A new 10-foot-wide pedestrian and bike walkway will grace the north side, and space in the center is set aside for future mass transit options like bus lines or light rail.
  • Wider lanes, pedestrian walkway & bike path all part of plan for new Goethals Bridge from S.I.
    A new Goethals Bridge is in the works...A private company will build, maintain and front the money for the project. It is the first time in more than 100 years that a private sector company will take on the task of building a bridge in the city.
  • PANYNJ Looks To Private Sector for New Goethals Bridge
    The estimated $1 billion project would be paid for, according to PANYNJ Executive Director Chris Ward, by a private investor or group which would then leave the bridge to the Port Authority.
1. Why is it necessary to replace the Goethals now?

The Bridge, constructed in 1928 to then-current criteria and standards, is now functionally obsolete. The existing 10-foot wide narrow lanes are substandard as compared to current standards of 12-foot wide lanes. The narrow lanes are a safety issue for trucks and wider vehicles, and cause congestion. The lack of roadway shoulders with only two lanes of traffic in each direction impedes access during emergencies, and the bridge is at capacity during peak periods.

Materials testing and engineering evaluations performed in 1997 indicated that the deck would require rehabilitation to keep the bridge usable until a new structure is in place. To that end, a deck rehabilitation was completed in 2006 with the intention of ensuring that the deck would adequately function for approximately another 10 years, i.e., until about 2016. After 2016, the frequency of emergency repairs for the bridge is expected to increase along with associated impacts to facility operations and public safety.

Delays in the construction of a new replacement bridge would require one of two costly improvements. In the shorter-term, additional support for the underside of the bridge would likely be required in the 2016 timeframe, which would increase the useful life of the bridge by approximately 10 to 15 years. The estimated total project cost would be in the range of $400 million. Longer-term delays would require a deck replacement and seismic retrofit for the bridge, which would cost approximately $600 million and the anticipated useful life for a deck replacement would be around 30 years.

Neither repair scheme, additional underside support nor a deck replacement, is recommended as the options each require a significant capital outlay while the existing bridge would remain functionally obsolete.

2. How will the Port Authority fund this project?

The Port Authority will fund the Goethals Bridge Replacement via a Public Private Partnership (P3), with possible federal funding. A P3 is a financial arrangement between the private sector and a government agency to fund and operate a public service. The Port Authority has awarded a $1.5 billion 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to replace the Goethals Bridge with a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge.

3. Why has the Port Authority sought 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 selected Developer will be paid for performance by the Port Authority over the life of the P3 rather than upfront. Should the Developer underperform or 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, allowing the Port Authority to commence procurement for the project today. 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).

4. Will it be necessary for the Port Authority to acquire any property for the project?

Yes. We will acquire vacant, residential and commercial property to construct the new bridge structure. To read more about permanent impacts and to see a graphic depiction of potential land use impacts, click here.

5. What are the impacts to my community?

Any construction project brings impacts, and the Port Authority has discussed these with community stakeholders at a series of public meetings. The variety of impacts to local communities is detailed in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) required Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), a comprehensive study of the environmental and social impacts of the new bridge construction project. As we move forward, we will also identify mitigation plans for any potential community or neighborhood impacts, both short and long term, and will include updates on our Port Authority Web site. To learn more , click for the following sections: Socio Economic; Environmental Justice; Community Facilities.

6. Will there be delays or closures during construction?

There will be minimal delays and closures, most occurring during the transition from the existing bridge to the new bridge.

7. Will there be transit on the bridge?

In preparing for a more sustainable regional transportation network, the Port Authority's designs for this program will not preclude transit in the future.

8. What are the projected construction start and completion dates?

Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2013. It will likely take four to five years to construct a new bridge and demolish the existing bridge.

9. What is the status of the environmental review?

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was completed and published in August 2010. This document was prepared to assess the environmental 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. View details on the EIS here.

10. Where are we now, and what are the next steps?

On April 24, 2013, the Port Authority authorized award of a 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to NYNJ Link Partnership as part of a $1.5 billion public-private partnership (PPP) to replace the Goethals Bridge with a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge.

  • Right-of-Way (property) acquisition process
  • Federal funding
  • Final Design Process

U.S. Department of Transportation

Federal Highways Administration

Notice of Construction That Will Possibly Affect Wetlands for the
Goethals Bridge Replacement Project

Identification Number X77047


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is planning the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project (GBRP). The GBRP encompasses the construction of a new vehicular crossing immediately south of the existing Goethals Bridge, tied in at the same points to the existing roadway network in both states, to be followed by the demolition of the current, functionally obsolete structure. Opened in 1928, the existing Goethals Bridge provides two ten-foot-wide traffic lanes in each direction, with no breakdown lanes or pedestrian/bike access. The preferred alternative would provide three travel lanes in each direction, at interstate-standard twelve-foot widths, plus a full set of shoulder lanes and bicycle-pedestrian access. The GBRP may include construction that will possibly affect wetlands covered by Executive Order 11990 of the President of the United States dated May 24, 1977, “Protection of Wetlands.” Maps, drawings and other pertinent information developed by the Port Authority are available for public inspection and copying at http://www.goethalseis.com/ and at http://www.panynj.gov/goethalsbridge/. Any comments regarding the project’s effect on the wetland(s) should be sent to Kaylie Kramer at the Federal Highway Administration, Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building, 11A Clinton Avenue, Albany, NY 12207, or kaylie.kramer@dot.gov, within 30 calendar days of publication of this notice.

Contact Us

If you have any questions related to the Goethals Bridge Replacement, please send us an email at GoethalsBridge@panynj.gov or call 201-395-3907.


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