Bayonne Bridge Lift
There’s no debate that the Bayonne Bridge is too low for the increasingly larger ships entering the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Even though the Port Authority, who operates the bridge, has begun studying the issue, two area Congressman and local leaders say they are moving far too slow.
“We are here today to urge the Port Authority and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to move much more
quickly than what is currently planned in terms of the reconfiguring of the very important and vital Bayonne Bridge
that’s right behind us,” said Congressman Michael McMahon.
The renewed calls by lawmakers come just days after the Port Authority released the results of a study which found a
solution to the problem wouldn’t come until the year 2019 at the earliest.
Solutions include lifting the current roadway, building a new bridge, or even digging a tunnel. But, for Port
officials, the Port Authority’s timetable is unacceptable and raise serious concerns for the region’s economy.
“It’s just vitally important that the bridge, which was great in its time, is either removed or modernized to the
point that the passage of ships under it is going to allow this harbor to continue to grow and prosper,” said New
York Container Terminal President Jim Devine.
Both New York and New Jersey officials say the date to look out for is 2015, when new super tankers are set to take
sail but won’t fit under the current Bayonne Bridge. Officials say if they can’t get under the bridge to the ports
of New York and New Jersey they’ll take their business elsewhere.
“I know there are already other ports drooling at the fact that we are going to have issues with the new tankers,”
said New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires.
“Let’s expedite the studies. They can be expedited. They have been expedited in the past, and can be expedited in
the future,” said Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro.
The price tag to clear the way for larger ships is expected to cost at least a billion dollars.
The Port Authority says it’s moving forward as quickly as possible and maintains the seaports do have time to fix
the issue before the bridge’s height affects the local economy.
An agency spokesperson says the Port Authority is committed to finding a solution that will allow the port to remain
the East Coast’s busiest.