Date: Nov 15, 2012
Press Release Number: 195-2012
Bayonne Bridge, Holland Tunnel and Stewart Airport all share November anniversaries
Three of the Port Authority’s major transportation facilities marked anniversaries this month, including the Bayonne Bridge, which opened to passenger traffic 81 years ago today.
The Bayonne Bridge was the last of the three bridges the Port Authority built to connect New Jersey and Staten Island. It opened to traffic on November 15, 1931 and served as the world’s longest steel-arch bridge for 45 years, until the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia surpassed it by 25 feet in 1977 with an arch of 1,700 feet. The Port Authority is currently undertaking a major project to raise the bridge’s roadway by 64 feet to 215 feet to accommodate larger ships that must travel under it to reach port terminals.
The Port Authority’s Holland Tunnel also marked a milestone this month. It first opened 85 years ago on November 13, 1927, as the first Hudson River vehicle crossing. The tunnel’s namesake is Clifford M. Holland, the crossing’s first chief engineer. In 1984, the Holland Tunnel was designated a National Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark and in 1993 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated it a National Historic Landmark.
On November 1, the Port Authority marked the fifth anniversary since assuming control from National Express of Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. The agency acquired the airport to provide relief to its three major regional airports, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International. Stewart’s roots date back to 1939, when the U.S. Military Academy at West Point built the first airfield at Stewart for cadet aviation training, later dedicating it as the "Wings of West Point."
In 2011, more than 7 million vehicles crossed the Bayonne Bridge, an estimated 33.2 million vehicles passed through the Holland Tunnel and Stewart International Airport accommodated 413,654 passengers.
CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 212 435-7777
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.