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New Bayonne Clearance Certified

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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The U.S. Coast Guard has certified the clearance of the newly raised Bayonne Bridge, marking a new milestone for the “Raise the Roadway” project on the span, between New Jersey and Staten Island.

The bridge’s new navigational clearance of 215 feet, 64 higher than the span’s previous clearance, was certified June 8, meaning so-called “New Panamax” ships can now pass beneath it.

The New Panamax ships were put into service after the Panama Canal’s new, expanded lock was opened last year; the Bayonne navigational clearance project was undertaken so that the big ships could make it underneath along the Kill van Kull. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey also undertook a $2.1 billion channel-deepening project last year in order to accommodate the new ships.

The new Bayonne Bridge roadway was opened to traffic in February, at which point the old, lower deck was still intact. Once crews demolished the lower roadway, the larger ships were permitted to pass through. More improvements to the bridge will keep it under construction until 2019.

Project Timeline

The Bayonne project began in 2013 and was originally slated to be ready for the New Panamax ships in 2016, when the vessels debuted, but by 2015, setbacks had postponed the clearance date to late 2017. Earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that the job was ahead of schedule—at least, ahead of the revised schedule—and that the lower deck would be removed by the end of June.

The project, which involved the construction of the new deck over top of the old roadway while the old roadway was still in use, was originally predicted to cost $1.3 billion, but more recent estimates have put it at $1.6 billion.

When the project is complete, the steel-arch Bayonne Bridge will have four lanes of traffic and a shared bicycle/pedestrian path.

Goethals Replacement

About two miles away from the Bayonne Bridge, another New Jersey-Staten Island bridge, the Goethals, reached a milestone last week as well. The first of two cable-stayed spans that will replace the original steel truss bridge (built in 1928) opened June 11. That $1.5 billion project is set to be complete next year.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Construction; Contractors; Infrastructure; North America; Port Authority of New Jersey; Port Authority of New York; Program/Project Management

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