BAYONNE AND BEYOND -- Mayor Mark A. Smith on Wednesday hailed the Port Authority’s awarding of a $743.3 million contract to raise the Bayonne Bridge as the latest step in an ongoing effort by the Authority to upgrade and maintain its facilities and maintain the Port of New York and New Jersey as the nation’s premier seaport.
Smith said he was happy to support the project which will create thousands of long-term, good paying union construction and related jobs during a difficult economy. He also pointed out that the raising of the bridge will ensure the port’s viability as shipping companies switch to ever larger ships which are restricted from accessing the port under the existing bridge configuration.
“I’ve been a vocal advocate for a solution to the Bayonne Bridge height issue for years,” said Smith. “The Port Authority is to be commended for their creative solution and dogged determination to get this job done. I’m happy that a qualified contractor has been engaged and I look forward to watching the implementation of this innovative solution.”
Smith continued, “The Bayonne Bridge is an important transportation link for our residents. It is critical that it remain in service to maintain our community’s circle of mobility in the region. The selected construction method does just that.”
The mayor has been advised that construction activity will likely ramp up later this year. Bayonne has been working closely with the Port Authority to ensure a smooth transition to construction through to project completion. According to Smith, the finished bridge will be safer with shoulders and a wider roadway, more pedestrian friendly with a wider bike and walkway.