What should be done about the Bayonne Bridge
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is moving ahead with a study to determine what should be done about the Bayonne Bridge, which spans the channel leading to the main container complex at the port and is considered too low for the largest container ships now in service. The study will be completed by the end of the summer and a decision will be made by the end of the year, Port Commerce Director Rick Larrabee said in an interview on April 8th. The port, the third largest in the nation in containers, is also developing a clean trucks program to reduce harmful emissions from trucks moving containers in and out of the port’s terminals, he said.
“There is no question the Bayonne Bridge is clearly in our sights. We don’t disagree with the premise that it is too low for future larger vessels that will want to transit the bridge, particularly now with the Panama Canal having made its decision to expand,” Larrabee said.
The port has made major investments in rail such that Larrabee feels the port will be well-positioned to compete for discretionary cargo against Norfolk, where the Heartland Corridor now under construction will create a high-speed rail link to the Midwest that has been seen a competitive threat to New York-New Jersey. “We believe that rail is a very strategic part of our future, and we are going to continue to grow capacity and increase the percent of cargo going out by rail,” Larrabee said, noting that his goal is to see the percentage of cargo moving by rail through the port increase from 11 percent today to 20 percent in the future. “We are going to be able to claim a (rail) capacity that will go from 380 thousand to somewhere close to 950 to 1 million (TEUs) by the end of this summer.”
Journal of Commerce