Home News Bayonne News

So this is why they ‘raised the roadway’

Largest cargo ship to dock on the East Coast passes under the Bayonne Bridge

The CMA-CGM Brazil passes under the Bayonne Bridge.

To Bayonne residents, Sunday, Sept. 12 was just another day. Local residents may have been unfazed, but history was made.

The CMA CGM Brazil passed under the Bayonne Bridge on its voyage to the Port of New York and New JerseyThe Port welcomed the container ship to APM Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal.

The arrival of this behemoth marks a milestone as the largest vessel to call upon a U.S. East Coast port, as well as to pass under the Bayonne Bridge.

Built in 2020, the container ship is 1,200 feet long by 167 feet wide and sits 47.5 feet deep in the water.

The CMA CGM Brazil has a cargo capacity of  15,072  TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units. One shipping container is equivalent to one TEU, meaning the CMA CGM Brazil can carry more than 15,000 storage containers.

Record-setting arrivals

The landmark arrival of the CMA CGM Brazil showcases the  port’s ability  to handle the world’s largest container ships, a result of the Port Authority  of New York and New Jersey’s key investments over the past few years, totaling $5.3 billion.

The improvements include the $1.7 billion Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program. Colloquially known as the “Raise the Roadway,” the project increased the air draft of the bridge to 215 feet above the Kill Van Kull.

Prior to the bridge project’s completion in 2017, the height clearance of 151 feet limited access to vessels with a maximum capacity of 9,800 TEUs.

The ship’s passage under the bridge demonstrates the positive impact of raising the roadway. The Bayonne Bridge now allows the world’s largest container ships to call on terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey, with the CMA CGM Brazil being a prime example.

Securing cargo business

The Bayonne Bridge project and others such as the Harbor Deepening Program, which created a 50-foot deep shipping channel, have readied the Port of New York and New Jersey to welcome the next generation of ultra-large container vessels.  

Larger ships such as the CMA CGM Brazil make the transportation of goods more economical while also contributing to local, regional, and national growth.  The ship transported clothing, furniture, toys, pharmaceuticals, and food for distribution to retailers.

Raising the Bayonne Bridge helped regional shipping, which was losing cargo business to the South in Norfolk, Virginia, and to the North in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Since the bridge was raised to 215 feet above the Kill Van Kull, thousands of regional jobs have been saved, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said at the bridge re-dedication ceremony in 2019.

At the same ceremony, Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08) said that 80 percent of the goods that arrive by ship in this region remain in the area.

The CMA CGM Brazil’s route connects the U.S. East Coast to Southeast Asia via the Suez  Canal. The container ship left Port Elizabeth on Monday Sept. 14 en route to its final destination in Norfolk, Virginia.

Port Director Sam Ruda and Deputy Director Bethann Rooney were on hand to welcome Captain Biser Nikolaev Draganov and his crew with a plaque to commemorate the ship’s inaugural visit.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

Exit mobile version