A $1 billion plan to raise the deck of the Bayonne Bridge by 65 feet could be completed earlier than expected if the federal government agrees to expedite its pre-construction approvals.
Officials say getting the project fast-tracked could shave several months off the anticipated 2016 completion date.
Raising the bridge deck would allow the latest generation of huge container ships to pass beneath the span en route to ports in Newark and Elizabeth. The larger vessels are expected to begin traveling to East Coast ports from Asia after a widening of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the busiest on the East Coast, responsible for more than $36 billion in economic activity and 279,000 jobs. But officials say cargo, dollars and jobs could be diverted to competing ports when the widened canal opens if the bridge deck isn’t raised.
“Every day, week, and month that we save in terms of (review) time means that
Article source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/port_authority_officials_ask_o.html posted in Panama Canal