When completed, the facility will feature cutting-edge technology that will allow passengers to basically walk right onto the ship after two perfunctory checks at the new port building.
“You’ll swipe your passport, answer one health question, and if all was done right online, you'll get right on board,” said Vice President of Port Operations Juan Trescastro.
The cruise line spokesman said the company had removed all the administrative requirements of checking in for greater ease in passenger processing.
The renovations are on schedule and on budget, according to Trescastro.
“We’re roughly about 65 percent done,” he said. “We’re right on schedule for our delivery date, Nov. 8.”
That date is important, because passengers will be using the check-in center only two days later, Nov. 10, when the Quantum of the Seas ocean liner arrives at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port from Southampton, England.
Prior to the ship’s arrival, Royal Caribbean will host an opening ceremony for the facility, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24.
“They’ll have a state-of-the-art terminal in the city of Bayonne.” – Juan Trescastro
“The foundation is completed and the placement of all structural metal has been done,” said Trescastro. “All skin is on the building; all insulation is done.”
About 80 percent of all internal walls have also been finished. The work now moves to construction of drywall, and the running of electrical wiring and conduit.
“It’s all the different aspects of construction,” said Trescastro. “All the finish work starts now.”
Outside the new building, mounds of debris from the previous structure could be seen last week. Those materials will be crushed, with most of it being used for the foundation of the new four-story parking structure, which will hold 950 cars.
Also to be built is the new roadway for the site.
“It’s all going to be a one-way circular traffic pattern,” Trescastro said. “There will be three lanes; another will be in front of the terminal.”
One drop-off lane will go into the parking garage, he said, and the other two lanes will be for exiting.
Nothing has been added or cut from the original site plans, according to Trescastro.
The construction will leave Bayonne residents and other travelers with something of a marvel.
“They’ll have a state-of-the-art terminal in the city of Bayonne,” Trescastro said. “It puts it into the standards of one of the best terminals in the world.”
The terminal will feature overhead gangways, the proper square footage for check-in in the terminal, and the entirely new process for embarkation.
There will also be Wi-Fi accessibility and charging stations in the terminal.
The upgrades are also expected to accommodate a 20- to 25-percent increase in passenger volume.
Until Nov. 8 the 70 to 100 workers will continue at the construction jobsite, working six days a week. A team of 10 people is managing the project.