Environmental Impact Statement Goethals Bridge Replacement Logo
 
GBMP EIS Overview
 

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the proposed Goethals Bridge Replacement evaluated the environmental, social, economic impacts of reasonable and feasible alternative actions for the Goethals Bridge. The EIS was prepared under the direction of the United States Coast Guard in conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Goethals Bridge spans the Arthur Kill between Staten Island, New York, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, and provides direct connections between the Staten Island Expressway/West Shore Expressway to the east and the New Jersey Turnpike/NJ Routes 1/9 to the west. The Goethals Bridge corridor is an important link in the regional transportation network.

The Goethals Bridge, which was opened for traffic in 1928, has become functionally obsolete:

  • Narrow lanes: current design standards are for 12-foot-wide lanes (according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), but the Goethals Bridge lanes are only 10 feet wide (by comparison, the standard truck cab width is 8’-6). These narrow lanes result in deteriorating traffic and safety conditions.

  • No emergency shoulders: while most roads have inner and outer shoulders, the Goethals Bridge has none. Shoulders are useful in clearing accidents to allow the flow of traffic to proceed.

  • Increasing traffic: increasing auto and truck traffic across the Bridge results in deteriorating traffic conditions and higher accident rates than on the nearby Outerbridge Crossing and Bayonne Bridge and higher than average statewide rates for 4-lane highways in NY and NJ.

  • Escalating cost of maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation: because of the Bridge’s age, it needs ongoing maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation at escalating costs.

  • Limits of current layout: the layout of the Bridge limits the extent to which traffic flows can be improved with use of E-ZPass technology (which has improved traffic at the Bridge’s toll plaza). Also, the layout does not allow space for any future transit system or priority lane for transit and ridesharing vehicles across the Bridge.

  • Need for reliable truck access: while the Bridge is a key freight link in the region, its narrow lanes, lack of emergency shoulders, and other design deficiencies reduce its reliability for the movement of goods by truck, notably from the nearby Howland Hook Marine Terminal.

  • Need for seismic protection and security: because of the existing Bridge’s design deficiencies, it does not have adequate protection for potential seismic hazard or other security concerns.

  • Unreliable link in the region’s transportation network: the existing Bridge’s limitations make it an unreliable link, should traffic need to be diverted from elsewhere due to emergency.

Therefore, The Port Authority of NY and NJ, the project sponsor, proposed to replace the existing Bridge. The EIS evaluated bridge-replacement alternatives and the No-Action alternative.

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  Preferred Alternative Selected - New Alignment South
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» Record of Decision (ROD) for Goethals Bridge Replacement Executed on January 31, 2011
» Final EIS (FEIS) Published in August 2010
» Preferred Alternative Selected – New Alignment South