National Transportation Landmark Bridge Linking Bayonne and Staten Island Honored at Birthday Celebration
Celebrating 75 years of service linking New Jersey and New York, the Bayonne Bridge was recognized today for its colorful history, transportation significance and architectural beauty.
New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia, Bayonne Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr., Port Authority officials, local elected officials, and community leaders were joined by elementary school students from the Mary J. Donohoe and Henry Harris schools in Bayonne. Marching bands from Bayonne and Port Richmond high schools also took part in a birthday ceremony at Dennis P. Collins Park in Bayonne.
The participants in today’s birthday celebration helped plant 75 red, white and blue tulip bulbs at the park to honor the Bayonne Bridge, which is illuminated nightly with patriotic lighting, and to recognize the city of Bayonne’s Dutch heritage.
Governor Corzine said, “The Bayonne Bridge is one of the most important parts of our region’s transportation system. This bridge, along with the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing, provide critical arteries between New Jersey and New York, establishing means for the tri-state economy to grow and prosper.”
Governor George E. Pataki said, “The Bayonne Bridge was declared the most beautiful steel structure by the American Institute of Steel in 1931. With approximately 20,000 vehicles crossing the span each day, the bridge is not just a wondrous sight, but a vital element of our transportation infrastructure.”
Chairman Coscia said, “For 75 years, the Bayonne Bridge has helped bring New Jersey and New York closer together while cargo ships have traveled under its marvelous steel arch to transport goods in and out of the port district. The bridge remains a signature image and critical part of our agency’s trade and transportation mission. The Port Authority has invested more than $228 million in the bridge and we expect to spend an additional $75 million for further improvements over the next several years.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The Bayonne Bridge is an important part of the Port Authority’s transportation network. This bridge, which was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1985, provides enhanced commuting options for area residents while offering businesses one of several alternatives to import and export necessary goods and services throughout this region.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Completed $3 million under budget and many months ahead of schedule, the Bayonne Bridge illustrates the Port Authority’s determination, commitment and vision. As the economy increases, it’s more important than ever for us to continue our mission of identifying and meeting critical transportation needs for the entire region and focusing our attention on providing safe and efficient facilities like this bridge, which has played such an important part in our transportation network.”
Bayonne Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. said, “After 75 years, the Bayonne Bridge remains a great engineering achievement. The bridge is a source of pride and a great symbol for our community.”
Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro said, “On behalf of the people of Staten Island, I am delighted to congratulate the Port Authority on the Bayonne Bridge’s 75th Anniversary. Staten Islanders consider Bayonne our New Jersey ‘Sister City,’ and many longtime residents remember the ferry that once connected our communities as the bridge does today. To build on that relationship, I am working with the Mayor of Bayonne to establish bus service across the Bayonne Bridge to connect Island commuters with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s 34th Street Station. The Bayonne Bridge not only joins the shores of our communities, but stands as a testament to the wonderful spirit of friendship between the people of Bayonne and Staten Island.”
In 1925, the legislature of the State of New Jersey authorized the then – Port of New York Authority to “…construct, operate, maintain and own” a bridge across the Kill van Kull. One year later the authorization was seconded by New York.”
The Bayonne Bridge opened at 5 a.m. on November 15, 1931 and 17,019 vehicles and 6,933 pedestrians crossed the bridge on its opening day.
Today, approximately 20,000 vehicles cross the Bayonne Bridge each day.
At night, the Bayonne Bridge’s red, white and blue lighting is made up of 34 incandescent and mercury vapor lights.
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 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; the Port Authority-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.