Bayonne Bridge Is No Easy (or cheap) Fix

The Port of New York and New Jersey have recently announced that the raising or replacing of the Bayonne Bridge could be upwards of $2B.  The bridge, which stands 151 ft over the Kill Van Kull at its highest point, is too low for the next generation of massive container ships.  The bridge is the largest obstacle facing growth in the port.  Traffic World Online tells us:

Richard Larrabee, the port authority’s port commerce director, spoke Monday at the bistate port’s 8th Annual Port Industry Day. Earlier estimates had been that the project would cost about $1 billion.

“The Bayonne Bridge is the Number One issue in the port,” Larrabee said. The authority expects to complete a study by next summer on how to replace or raise the bridge, which crosses the channel to container terminals in the Port Newark-Elizabeth complex in New Jersey and New York Container Terminal on Staten Island.

The Port Authority is currently in the midst of a study to decide what is the most efficient way to solve this problem, whether it is raising the height or replacing the bridge, or or building a tunnel under the Kill Van Kull.

The Bayonne Bridge, at 8640 ft, is currently the third longest steel arch bridge in the world and was the longest when it was completed in 1931.  Built by the Port Authority of New York, it was constructed to allow vehicle traffic from Staten Island to reach Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.