On Wednesday, December 4, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized an ambitious program to continue a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the road network at the agency's New Jersey marine terminals. The action will greatly improve efficiency and continue to make the port facilities more environmentally friendly by reducing truck congestion on the port's aging roads.
The $105 million program includes the design, construction and realignment of portions of five major access roads to port terminals: Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets, and Doremus Avenue. It includes the demolition and replacement of the Corbin Street Ramp, which has been the scene of accidents over the past three years.
The work will complement previous projects to widen McLester Street in the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, and widen and realign parts of Port Street and Brewster Road. The road improvement project will result in less truck congestion on port property, and a corresponding reduction in harmful emissions produced by truck idling, by approximately 281 pounds per year.
"The more efficient we can make cargo movements in and out of our port, the better it is for our customers who expect speed and reliability in the delivery of their goods to market," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. "These projects enable us to provide a road network that is both safe and efficient and which will ensure that our port remains a vital cog in the region's economy for many years to come."
"Making sure cargo flows safely and efficiently through our port is critical to our ability to attract international shippers to do business in our region," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "Today's action will ensure that we bring the era of 1950s roads into modern times so they can handle the volumes of cargo and resulting trucks that we deal with today."
The road improvement project will include new pavement for all of the roads, new center barriers, drainage, traffic signals, signs and curbing. When the projects are complete, the improvements will provide truckers and other port users with approximately $63 million in time savings and reduced operating costs, and $1.2 million in safety benefits, over a 30-year period. The road projects are part of the port's ambitious $191.4 million Capital Plan for 2013. The projects complement approximately $600 million in Port Authority investments to build and grow its ExpressRail system, which provides an environmentally friendly way to move cargo from the docks to rail cars for transport to its final destination. Since ExpressRail first opened in 1991, the Port Authority has expanded its original rail terminal to an 18-track facility that straddles the APM and Maher Terminals. ExpressRail facilities also serve the Port Newark Container Terminal and the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island.
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