US Coast Guard approves US$1.3 billion project to ‘Raise the Roadway’
The US Coast Guard has given the green light to the Bayonne Bridge ‘Raise the Roadway’ project, which will allow unfettered access for the next generation of larger cargo container ships at New Jersey’s port terminals.
The decision, which was made following the completion of an extensive environmental review, means construction works can now begin on the US$1.3 billion project. A work permit could be issued as early as next week, according to officials.
In response to the news, Governor Chris Christie, Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Albio Sires praised the quick approval by the US Coast Guard.
“The US Coast Guard’s decision literally clears the way for this $1.3 billion “Raise the Roadway” project to deliver dividends to New Jersey’s economy for decades to come,’’ said Governor Christie.
“New Jersey’s bipartisan efforts to fast-track this project shows the value of cooperation to help our state citizens’ prosper economically.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the region’s ports, had received fast-track review status for the project last year from President Obama. However, the US Coast Guard is the federal permitting agency and needed to favourably complete the environmental review before the project could proceed.
Raising the current roadway 64 feet from its current 151-foot height will allow the bigger 21st century vessels to traverse the Kill Van Kill without impediment to reach terminals in Newark and Elizabeth, once the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2015.