BAYONNE -- Several officials from the city of Bayonne discussed plans for the Bayonne Bridge at a meeting with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Friday.
At the Port Authority’s headquarters in Manhattan, Port Authority Deputy Director Bill Baroni, engineers, and project planners explained that the roadbed on the Bayonne Bridge will be lifted by sixty-four feet to allow large cargo ships to pass below. Bayonne officials viewed an animated film that demonstrated the process the Port Authority will use to reconstruct the bridge. (That animation is available for everyone to view on the Port Authority’s website at www.panynj.gov/bayonnebridge/.)
The main goal of the Port Authority’s plan to alter the Bayonne Bridge is to preserve and expand jobs in the metropolitan area. Mayor Mark A. Smith said, “By allowing the large cargo ships to travel on the Kill Van Kull between the Atlantic Ocean, Port Newark, and Port Elizabeth, we will secure the future of the shipping industry in our region.” He continued, “If the Bayonne Bridge remained as it is, the shipping industry would move elsewhere, and consumers would have to pay more to have products brought here from distant ports. The Port Authority’s plan for the bridge is good for workers, consumers, and the city of Bayonne.”
Port Authority officials said that bridge reconstruction would leave all of Bayonne’s neighborhoods intact. The redesigned bridge will include wider lanes, a breakdown shoulder, a walkway, and a bikeway. The span will also have the potential to add Light Rail in the future. There will be no loss of road ramps in the redesign of the bridge. The Port Authority promised no significant shutdowns during construction. The bi-state agency pledged to work with Bayonne and Staten Island to minimize the impact of construction on the two communities.
Mayor Smith concluded, “I would like to thank the Port Authority for being considerate of Bayonne’s needs. I am glad that the Port Authority listened to Bayonne’s concerns and that jobs in our area will be preserved.”
Among the Bayonne officials who attended the meeting were Business Administrator Steve Gallo, Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, City Planner John Fussa, City Engineer Don Schlachter, and Deputy Fire Chief Keith Weaver.