Project Will Require Three Years of Nightly Lane Closings at the Crossing
The 75-year-old Goethals Bridge – a critical transportation link between New Jersey and Staten Island – will undergo a major three-year deck rehabilitation project following approval today by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
The $63 million project – starting as early as April 2004 with some preliminary work occurring this fall – will provide necessary restoration to the 7,100-foot-long bridge. The work will continue until the end of 2006 and will keep the bridge in a state of good repair.
While work is in progress, the bridge will be closed in one direction each night except Sunday night into Monday morning. During the closings, traffic will be diverted to the Bayonne Bridge or the Outerbridge Crossing. The closings will be similar to those done when the deck of the Outerbridge Crossing was rehabilitated between 2000 and 2002.
Port Authority Board Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, \"This project represents an important investment that’s needed to keep our bistate crossings in a state of good repair. This bridge must be maintained to handle today’s significant traffic volumes and to protect the safety of our citizens who use the bridge while we explore future options for the crossing.\"
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, \"The Goethals Bridge is a key link between New York and New Jersey, handling 85,000 vehicles a day and providing truckers with convenient access to and from the Howland Hook Marine Terminal in Staten Island. We need to extend the life of this bridge while we evaluate proposals to handle future levels of traffic in this continually growing highway corridor.\"
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"This project is part of an aggressive investment plan to make sure our bridges and tunnels remain world-class facilities. Millions of travelers each year rely on us to get them safely to and from their destinations. It is our job to make sure we meet their needs.\"
Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro said, \"I applaud the Port Authority for making a major investment in restoring the Goethals Bridge. Because our Borough is geographically isolated and does not have the same access to public transportation as other municipalities, bridge maintenance is of paramount importance to Staten Islanders. Although this much-needed restoration will require several years of nightly lane closings, this short-term pain will result in long-term gain for our residents and all bistate commuters.\"
Port Authority Director of Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Ken Philmus said, \"We are working closely with elected officials and community leaders to make sure this project will have minimal disruption for travelers who use the bridge each day. The work is being done during overnight hours so that it can fully reopen every day to minimize the overall impact on the traveling public.\"
The three-year project involves the removal of the asphalt riding surface, rehabilitation of the bridge deck where necessary, replacement of deck joints and storm drains, rehabilitation of a portion of the structural steel, installation of a new asphalt riding surface and replacement of the sidewalks.
Work will begin in April 2004 in the westbound direction and continue in these lanes until June 2005. Eastbound work will follow from June 2005 to December 2006. One direction of the bridge will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., Mondays through Thursdays, and from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings once the work begins. During the nightly closings, traffic will be diverted to the Outerbridge Crossing and Bayonne Bridge. The bridge will remain fully open in both directions from late November to mid-March.
Prior to the start of major work on the project, some interim repairs will be made to some bridge joints this summer. The work will require periodic lane closings but no full closures.
The Goethals Bridge project will be similar to the work done recently on the Outerbridge Crossing. Last November, the Port Authority completed a $52.2 million project to rehabilitate the deck at that bridge. A similar $25 million project to rehabilitate the deck on the Bayonne Bridge also has been completed.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; 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. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.