BAYONNE -- During an Assembly Committee meeting held in Trenton on Monday Feb. 8, Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone addressed the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on the issue of their resolution AR-54, which called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to formulate engineering and funding solutions for the Bayonne Bridge.
Assemblyman Chiappone (D-Bayonne) asked the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee to consider not just the potential impact on Bayonne residents and businesses when coming up with potential solutions for the bridge, but to look for alternative solutions as well.
" Any expansion or replacing of the Bayonne Bridge will result in a severe hardship to Bayonne,” Chiappone said. “While I understand the regional concerns in regards to Port Elizabeth and Port Newark, the local concerns regarding Bayonne need to be considered and respected as well. “
Chiappone questioned how many homes would have to be taken as a result of the project, and said the alternate route over the Turnpike Extension is already overtaxed with traffic.
Chiappone questions all of the proposed plans which involve either raising or replacing the Bayonne Bridge, or building a tunnel.
"Raising the bridge means increasing the span and that means expanding the span into existing neighborhoods. That means the loss of homes through eminent domain. To me, that's intolerable,” he said. “Replacing the bridge or building a tunnel would be even worse. In my view, none of the options are good for Bayonne.”
Chiappone said larger ships can be and should be accomodated on the New York Bay side of Bayonne through either the expansion of the existing Port Jersey or through the use of part of the former Military Ocean Teminal.
Chiappone emphasized that any study done regarding the Bayonne Bridge include an exploration of those options.
Residents with thoughts and opinions on this issue can contact Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone at 201-436-0473.