The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has awarded a contract to Skanska Koch, Inc. and Kiewit Infrastructure Co, as part of its $1.29 billion program to increase the navigational clearance of the Bayonne Bridge.
The widening of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2015, will result in larger, more modern ships calling the port. Raising the roadway of the 81-year-old Bayonne Bridge’s main deck by 64 feet will allow cleaner, more efficient post-Panamax ships to pass under the structure to access port terminals in New York and New Jersey.
The Bayonne Bridge Raise the Roadway plan is included in President Obama’s 2012 We Can’t Wait Initiative of expedited infrastructure projects. The Port Authority was among the first in the country to apply for the program in March of 2012. The project will create more than 2,500 construction jobs for the region, $380 million in wages and more than $1.6 billion in economic activity.
“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.”
The Port Authority anticipates work beginning later this year on the Bayonne Bridge navigational clearance program, pending completion of the environmental review and permitting process.