The Bayonne Bridge, a historic civil engineering landmark designed by Othmar H. Ammann, is the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world, and was the longest in the world at the time of its completion. It connects Bayonne, New Jersey, with Staten Island, New York, spanning the Kill Van Kull. Construction began in September 1928 and was completed in 1931. The primary purpose of the bridge was to allow vehicular traffic from Staten Island to reach Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel.
Today, because the bridge is only 151 feet above the water, larger container ships often cannot cross under it to reach our marine terminals – Port Newark, Elizabeth and Howland Hook in Staten Island. Shippers who rely on our ports for access to a regional transportation network are forced to use other smaller, less-efficient and less environmentally friendly ships to bring goods into our region.
The new conceptual design highlights safety and design improvements: wider lanes, shoulders, a median divider, and the potential for future transit options. We have completed final engineering design and project staging to confirm how the mainspan and approach will physically be raised while maintaining traffic and access in both directions. Click here to watch a video of our proposed design and construction staging.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to result in a shift to larger, cleaner, more-efficient ships servicing our region and other East Coast markets. In order to ensure these new ships can reach our ports, the clearance limitation must be addressed.
To that end, in December 2010, the Port Authority announced its decision to take action to “Raise the Roadway” of the Bayonne Bridge to 215 feet. The 64 feet of additional air draft under the bridge will allow the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to welcome larger, more efficient vessels to our ports, which will in turn result in cleaner air in our region.