Date: Mar 26, 2012
Press Release Number: 39-2012
Federal request believed to be first submitted in the nation
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Friday submitted to federal officials a formal request that the Bayonne Bridge "Raise the Roadway" project be considered for expedited review under President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) on Permitting and Federal Review issued just 24 hours earlier. The Port Authority believes its request to the U.S. Department of Transportation and to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard is the first to be submitted in the country in response to the President’s newly issued EO.
“For too long, the Port Authority and other public agencies in the region and across the country have been caught in a web of too much process and bureaucracy,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “I applaud President Obama's decision to let common sense rule and to encourage coordination, urgency, and accountability for federal permitting processes at a time when critical infrastructure projects are vital to job creation and economic activity. The Port Authority immediately submitted its request given the $1 billion Bayonne Bridge Raise the Roadway project is an ideal contender for this initiative. We are not building a new bridge but simply raising the roadway and rehabilitating an existing structure. As the Panama Canal widening effort nears completion, every day becomes critically important to our goal of making sure larger cargo ships can access the Port of New York and New Jersey through the Bayonne Bridge. Speed is essential, and I am committed to making the Port Authority faster and more competitive.”
The Port Authority has committed $1 billion to this project to increase the navigational clearance of the Bayonne Bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, in anticipation of the Panama Canal widening completion in 2014. This expansion will allow for larger post-Panamax ships to access the region through the Kill Van Kull Channel.
The project is currently undergoing the required Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review with the U.S. Coast Guard, the designated lead federal agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in early 2013, pending federal and local environmental reviews.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. This includes 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; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.