New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined hundreds of local construction workers from New York and New Jersey, along with construction firms Skanska USA and Kiewit Infrastructure Co., and executives from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey July 2, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Bayonne Bridge project.
The project officially named “The Bayonne Bridge Raise the Roadway Plan,” is included in President Obama’s 2012 “We Can’t Wait Initiative” of expedited infrastructure projects.
The project will create more than 2,500 construction jobs, $380 million in wages and more than $1.6 billion in economic activity for the region.
The Bayonne Bridge project is the first time in agency history that engineers will construct a bridge roadway deck above the existing roadway, while traffic continues to flow on the deck below. For more details, please see below the photos for a press release announcing the project.
“The Board’s approval of the Bayonne Bridge project is a critical step toward preserving the Port of New York and New Jersey’s standing as the premier hub port and gateway for the East Coast,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson.
“This investment of $1.29 billion to raise the roadway is a clear example of the agency’s strong commitment to improve its aging facilities and continue to serve as the key economic engine in the region.”
As part of the Port Authority’s bridge construction program, the Board of Commissioners awarded a $743.3 million contract to Skanska Koch, Inc. / Kiewit Infrastructure Co. (JV) team as part of a $1.29 billion program to increase the navigational clearance of the Bayonne Bridge.
The project will raise the deck by 64 feet and provide drivers with a new, modern roadway with safer 12-foot lanes, shoulders, a median divider and a 12-foot bike and pedestrian walkway. It also will provide the capability for future mass transit options across the span.
The Bayonne Bridge project is the first time in agency history that engineers will construct a bridge roadway deck above the existing roadway, while traffic continues to flow on the deck below.
Work will start later this year with deck removal scheduled for late 2015. One lane of traffic will operate in each direction throughout the life of the project, with overnight and limited weekend closures.
The widening of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2015, will result in larger, more modern ships calling on the Port.
Raising the roadway of the 81-year-old Bayonne Bridge’s main deck by 64 feet will allow cleaner, more efficient post-Panama ships to pass under the structure to access port terminals in New York and New Jersey. The project is critical to maintaining and enhancing the competitiveness of the New York and New Jersey ports.
“With today’s announcement, it is clear that the Port Authority is focused on fulfilling its mission-centric work of rebuilding and maintaining critical transportation infrastructure in the New York and New Jersey region,” said Port Authority Vice-Chair Scott Rechler. “Our bridge revitalization program will boost the economy, create jobs, dramatically improve our transportation infrastructure and benefit those who live and work in the bistate region.”
The endeavor has benefitted from the strong support of elected officials in New York and New Jersey including New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez and New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires. The project also has the backing of labor unions, the shipping industry and port tenants.
The project is critical to maintain the Port of New York and New Jersey as the East Coast’s leading destination for international shippers. It will directly benefit ports in both states, including Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal and New York Container Terminal. Currently, the port handles 30 percent of all goods shipped to the East Coast, and supports more than 280,000 jobs.
“Investing in critical public infrastructure is the key to a successful long-term economy,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “The Port Authority’s plan to raise the navigational clearance of the Bayonne Bridge will provide thousands of men and women throughout the region with high paying jobs, while also serving to improve the region’s transportation infrastructure and the long-term competitiveness of our ports.”