BAYONNE --The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced on Wednesday that it will finish the deck removal portion of the Raise the Roadway project at the Bayonne Bridge six months ahead of schedule, ensuring completion of this important project in advance of commercial operations at the widened Panama Canal. The deck removal will provide critical navigational clearance for larger post-Panamax ships to access port terminals in New York and New Jersey when the Panama Canal opens.
Construction of the Port Authority project is being expedited under the leadership of Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Work will commence in mid-2013 when crews begin to build a new elevated roadway 64 feet above the existing deck. Once completed, the Bayonne Bridge roadway will be 215 feet above the Kill Van Kull waterway, allowing larger cargo ships to easily pass beneath the structure. The Port Authority is expediting the work to coincide with when the widening of the Panama Canal is completed and fully operational. The Port Authority anticipates deck removal to be completed by the Fall of 2015. The original project timeline called for completion of deck removal in mid 2016.
The Panama Canal Authority recently announced that construction delays will push completion of the Canal project into 2015. In an interview on June 29 with the Panamanian television station Telemetro, Alberto Alemán Zubieta, the administrator of the Panama Canal, noted that following completion of construction there would be up to eight months of testing and trials before the Canal will be fully operational.
“Raising the roadway on the Bayonne Bridge paves the way to a brighter, competitive economic future for New Jersey and the region,” said Governor Christie. “Completing this important project ahead of schedule will ensure that our ports remain a vital link to the global economy and the destination of choice for international shippers and cargo.”