Date: Sep 14, 2010
Press Release Number: 61-2010
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today provided up to $1 billion in its capital planning process to help finance a solution to the Bayonne Bridge height issue.
A comprehensive planning analysis is under way to determine a cost-effective solution to the bridge clearance issue, which will pose a navigational problem for larger ships trying to access the Port of New York and New Jersey after the Panama Canal expands in 2014. A prioritized rank of project alternatives will be completed by the end of the year, and the next steps in the program will be expedited at that time.
Options include modifying the existing bridge by jacking the current 151-foot road deck, creating a lift bridge mechanism at the center of the span, or building a new taller bridge or a tunnel below the river.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "Our region's economic fortunes have always been tied to the vitality of our seaport. Today's financial commitment will ensure that the seaport remains the leading destination for shippers on the East Coast, helping to preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity."
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This is an important next step in our ongoing efforts to address the Bayonne Bridge issue.”
Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “Today’s action is about keeping good jobs in New Jersey and supporting economic growth in our port. It will ensure that we have the resources available to undertake the best, most cost-effective solution to the obstacle posed by the Bayonne Bridge. The project remains a key priority for Governor Christie and the Port Authority.”
In June, the Board agreed to retain nationally known consulting teams to provide technical information on environmental and regulatory issues related to the Bayonne Bridge project. The consultant teams are currently developing ways to expedite the environmental review process, including the National Environmental Policy Act requirements, and other applicable regulations.
The port currently supports approximately 269,000 jobs in the New York, New Jersey region, and provides for $11.2 billion in personal income, $36.1 billion in business income and $5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.
In 2009, the port handled 4.6 million loaded and unloaded 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The dollar value of all cargo handled was more than $146 billion. The port’s leading trading partners continue to be Asia and North Europe.
The Port Authority is investing $200 million in 2010 in seaport-related improvements to improve efficiency and capacity at the port.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Ron Marsico, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.