New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced the project to increase the height of the Bayonne Bridge has been completed seven months ahead of schedule, allowing vessels of up to 18,000 TEUs to call port terminals west of the bridge.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s (PANYNJ) Bayonne Bridge navigational clearance project has been completed seven months early, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement Thursday.
The Bayonne Bridge’s lower roadway removal was completed ahead of a revised year-end schedule to increase clearance capacity from 151 feet and the maximum vessel size from 9,800 TEUs. The U.S. Coast Guard certified the bridge’s new navigational clearance at 215 feet, allowing vessels up to 18,000 TEUs to travel underneath it to port terminals west of the bridge, according to the port authority.
“This historic project will create all kinds of jobs and billions of dollars in activity to New Jersey and this region,” said Christie. “All major shipping lines will now access our port, generating greater opportunities and economic growth for New Jersey residents, businesses and consumers. They will transport everything from clothing and furniture to beverages on larger, greener vessels, at a much lower cost, which is a win for everyone.
“Cementing our port as the most attractive East Coast option has been a top priority since day one, and in a matter of weeks people will benefit from the results, as the world’s cargo passes through the Garden State,” he added.
Construction on the Bayonne Bridge project began in 2013, after the project received fast-track environmental review status and a federal permit from the U.S. Coast Guard, according to PANYNJ.
An elevated roadway through the existing arch bridge and over the existing roadway was completed in February 2017, allowing the old roadway to be removed. The bridge will be built to its full width by 2019, providing motorists with a safer, wider roadway.
This raising of the Bayonne Bridge, along with last year’s completion of a $2.1 billion, 50-foot navigation channel deepening project and $600 million investments in other port infrastructure, will allow the port to continue to attract more cargo on fewer ships, said the port authority.
To learn more about the project to raise the Bayonne Bridge and other developments at the Port of New York and New Jersey, read American Shipper’s May cover story “Reaching new heights.“
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that vessels up to 9,800 TEUs can now call port terminals west of the Bayonne Bridge, but vessels up to 18,000 TEUs can now call these terminals.