Press Release Article


Date: Feb 25, 2004
Press Release Number: 20-2004

Consultant’s Work Will Culminate in a Final Environmental Impact Statement That Recommend a Preferred Alternative For Upgrading and Modernizing 75-Year-Old Crossing

The Port Authority today retained the services of a team of outside experts to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of options for the 75-year-old Goethals Bridge, and to recommend a preferred alternative to upgrade and modernize the crossing.

The Board of Commissioners selected the joint venture of Louis Berger Group/Parsons Brinckerhoff of East Orange, N.J., and Manhattan to conduct the environmental review. The effort will be undertaken in cooperation with the United States Coast Guard as the lead federal agency and will include the preparation of a full Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the federal National Environmental Policy Act. The environmental review process will take approximately three years.

The team will immediately begin to establish a schedule that will include opportunities for public input. Throughout the process, an assessment of alternatives will be undertaken with ongoing public exchanges. The preferred alternative selected at the conclusion of the process will ultimately help improve customer service, modernize the bridge, and enhance safety and reliability for those using the crossing.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “We are embarking on a critical process that will determine the future of this crossing, which is a key link for the movement of goods and people throughout the region. The Goethals Bridge is a significant component of our transportation network, and our economic strength and our quality of life depend on effectively planning for the future of this and all of our bistate crossings and their connections in our region.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “This meticulous review will ensure that future plans for the Goethals Bridge are carefully integrated with New York’s extensive transportation network to allow for the efficient movement of goods and people. This bridge is a key link to the region’s major airports and seaports and is critical to our economic vitality.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Our bridges and tunnels are the backbone of the region’s transportation system, and this initiative is part of our extensive plans to keep our infrastructure in a state of good repair. In addition to exploring the future of the Goethals Bridge through this environmental review, we will continue to undertake interim necessary projects – such as bridge painting and deck repairs – so that our crossings continue to safely and efficiently serve the millions of people who use them each year.”

The Goethals Bridge, which opened in 1928, has two 10-foot lanes in each direction, which do not meet today’s 12-foot-wide highway design standards and has no shoulders for emergency access. It also serves as the primary route for commercial traffic serving the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which is the region’s military port of embarkation in the event of a national emergency.

The Goethals Bridge carries approximately 31 million vehicles each year and provides connections to the New Jersey Turnpike, Routes 1 & 9, the Staten Island Expressway, the West Shore Expressway and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

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 and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail 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.

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