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Bayonne Bridge Construction Update to February 15
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Posted on: 1/28 11:07
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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Environmental groups asks for halt on Bayonne Bridge project

By Mike D'Onofrio | The Jersey Journal
on August 20, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Environmental and community groups asked a New York federal judge Friday for a summary judgment to bring an immediate halt to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's four-year project to raise the Bayonne Bridge roadway 64 feet.

The lawsuit, filed by environmental groups including the Coalition for Healthy Ports, alleges the U.S. Coast Guard skirted federal environmental laws when it issued a permit in May 2013 to the Port Authority to raise the bridge roadway, according to court documents.

The defendants in the case are the Coast Guard and Port Authority, among others.

The Coalition for Healthy Ports was part of a suit in 2013 asking to invalidate the permit issued by the Coast Guard.

Amy Goldsmith, Coalition of Healthy Ports spokeswoman, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Coast Guard, according to the environmental groups in court documents, failed to analyze the "adverse environmental and public health impacts" that will accompany increased port traffic.

In addition, the Coast Guard refused to disclose its own data that found the environmental impacts would be minimal, according to court documents.

Raising the roadway to allow larger contain ships to pass under the bridge will greatly increase the levels of air pollution throughout the region and subject communities to hazardous contaminants, including lead, arsenic and asbestos, the groups allege.

The groups also allege the federal agency falsely concluded that raising the bridge roadway would have "only a minimal effect on future cargo volumes at the Port," according to court documents.

According to the environmental groups, cargo traffic would increase as much as 44 percent — an estimate much higher than the Coast Guard's.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency also raised concerns over the Coast Guard's environmental impact study before a permit was granted to the Port Authority in 2013.

Lisa Novak, public affairs officer for the Coast Guard, said the Coast Guard has a "general policy of not commenting on pending litigation."

Chris Valens, a spokesman for the Port Authority, also said, "We never comment on pending litigation."

The $1.3 billion, four-year project is intended to allow larger ships to pass through to ports in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island. The completion of the Panama Canal expansion in the next few years is expected to usher in a new era of larger cargo ships traveling from Asia to the East Coast.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... k_judge.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2014/8/21 0:38
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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Pretty interesting video on exactly how they are going to raise the Bayonne Bridge:

http://youtu.be/lW5I6lFFXRU


Posted on: 2013/10/24 9:37
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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Lawsuit seeks to block Bayonne Bridge raising, seeks more thorough review

By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger
August 01, 2013 at 8:24 AM

NEW YORK — A coalition of environmental and community groups filed a lawsuit today seeking to invalidate a permit to raise the Bayonne Bridge roadway until a more thorough study of the project’s environmental impact is conducted.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against the U.S. Coast Guard, which issued the permit in May after declaring the project would have no significant impact on surrounding communities, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which wants to raise the roadway for the sake of the local shipping industry.

The suit was filed by the Coalition for Healthy Ports, made up of several New Jersey environmental and community groups, as well as the Teamsters union; a pair of Staten Island-based organizations, the Elm Park Civic Association and the North Shore Waterfront Conservancy; and the Washington, D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council.

“This action challenges the failure of the United States Coast Guard to comply with federal environmental laws before authorizing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to raise the Bayonne Bridge,” states a draft of the suit provided to The Star-Ledger. “This project will generate substantial levels of air pollution both locally and regionally, and expose communities to hazardous contaminants such as lead, arsenic, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”). These environmental and public health impacts will fall disproportionately on communities near the Port, including low-income communities and communities of color in Staten Island, NY and Newark, NJ, which already experience elevated health risks from air pollution and hazardous contaminants.”

Proponents of the $1.3 billion bridge project say it could expand access to shipping terminals in Newark and Elizabeth for the latest generation of container ships. They say failure to address the bridge problem risks losing cargo, jobs and money to competing East Coast ports.

Coast Guard officials have said that preparing the kind of full environmental impact statement sought by the plaintiffs could take up to a year.

The Coast Guard and the Port Authority declined comment on the suit. Beverly Fedorko, a spokeswoman for New York Shipping Association, an industry group that strongly supports the project, said she was confident the Coast Guard’s environmental assessment would stand up in court.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013 ... _permit.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2013/8/1 23:27
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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They really might as well build the rail/light rail link......I would imagine it would in the long run save money.

Posted on: 2013/5/16 8:34
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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They are literally going to build the new roadway some 60 feet over the old roadway, using the same arches already in place. A very interesting process.
http://www.panynj.gov/bayonnebridge/

Posted on: 2013/5/16 7:42
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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I'd like to know how exactly this is going to work.

Posted on: 2013/5/16 7:37
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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What happens to pedestrian access? That bridge is the only way to run, walk or bike to Staten Island.

Posted on: 2013/5/16 7:27
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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Quote:

corybraiterman wrote:
glad i don't drive in that direction ever. traffic's gonna stiiiiiiiiink


Isn't this being done at the same time as the Pulaski closure? Genius.

Posted on: 2013/5/16 1:05
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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glad i don't drive in that direction ever. traffic's gonna stiiiiiiiiink

Posted on: 2013/5/15 23:47
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Re: Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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$1.3 billion project to raise Bayonne Bridge gets final approval

By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger
May 15, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The U.S. Coast Guard has approved an application to raise the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge, seen here in August. A permit could be issued allowing work to being as early as May 24.John Munson/The Star-Ledger

BAYONNE —The U.S. Coast Guard has approved raising the Bayonne Bridge roadway, a project intended to clear a navigational obstacle that threatened the viability of the East Coast's busiest port and the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in commerce that depend on it.

It is the last approval necessary for the project to begin, authorities said.

"We’re looking forward to seeing the project proceed,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russell Tippets, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, the federal permitting agency for the $1.3 billion project.

The project will raise the roadway of the bridge by 64 feet, giving it a new total clearance of 215 feet above the Kill van Kull at high tide. Proponents of the project, including shippers, longshoremen, labor unions and its sponsor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, say raising the roadway is necessary for the latest, largest generation of container ships to have access to terminals in Newark, Elizabeth and Staten Island following completion of a Panama Canal expansion in 2015.

As a result of the canal expansion, proponents say the big so-called Post-Panamax vessels will begin traveling directly to the East Coast from China and other Asian export nations, and if the roadway obstacle is not eliminated, the terminals — and related trucking, warehousing and other industries in the bi-state region — will lose cargo business to competing East Coast ports.

The Port Authority says 270,000 jobs and $36 billion in commerce depend on the terminals, which, along with others in Jersey City, Bayonne and Brooklyn, are collectively known as the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The project's potential to create thousands of temporary construction jobs, combined with its importance to the region's long-term economic outlook, prompted President Obama to select it in July as the first large-scale public infrastructure job to be granted fast-track review status under his "We Can't Wait" initiative.

The Coast Guard completed its environmental review of the project on May 3, as indicated on the Federal Infrastructure Projects Permitting Dashboard and the guard's Finding of No Significant Impact, or FONSI, was posted online this morning by the Federal Register, one day prior to the decision's official publication.

Coast Guard officials say the actual permit for the project could be issued on or about May 24, allowing work to begin.

In anticipation of the permit, the Port Authority last month granted a $743 million provisional contract for the bulk of the bridge work to a partnership between Skanska Koch Inc. and Kiewit Infrastructure Company.

Port Authority officials say the existing roadway should be removed by the time the Panama Canal expansion is complete in 2015, when a single lane for traffic in each direction will be open on the higher roadway. The new, wider roadway, with two lanes in each direction, shoulders, and a center divider, is to be completed two years later.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency and private environmental and community groups had raised concerns that increased cargo volumes resulting from the project would mean more container truck traffic and higher diesel emissions in neighborhoods surrounding the terminals. Because the port neighborhoods are made up largely of poor and minority residents disproportionally effected by industrial pollution, private groups have threatened to file lawsuits to block the project under an area of the law known as environmental justice.

The Port Authority has insisted it has taken steps to mitigate port pollution, including several initiatives outlined in an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection that is related to but not offiicially part of the Bayonne Bridge permitting process.

The Coast Guard also insists the project is environmentally sound.
“We took every expressed environmental concern seriously," said Tippets. "And we adequately addressed all concerns."

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013 ... approve.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2013/5/15 13:40
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Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously
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Port Authority to replace Goethals Bridge, raise roadbed of Bayonne Bridge, simultaneously

Published: Friday, March 09, 2012, 7:45 AM
By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni speaks at the World Trade Center Steel Dedication Ceremony in Hamilton in 2010. Baroni spoke to members of the Commerce and industry Association of N.J. about the Port Authority's upcoming projects on Thursday.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hopes to soon do something it hasn’t done in more than 80 years.

"For the first time since 1931, the Port Authority is going to build two bridges at the same time," Bill Baroni, the agency’s deputy executive director, told members of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey Thursday.

The agency will be simultaneously raising the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge — to boost clearance for container ships while replacing the entire aging and congested Goethals Bridge. The Bayonne Bridge raising is projected to cost $1 billion, while replacing the Goethals, a public-private partnership, would be $1.5 billion.

And these are just two of the projects that Baroni said would generate 16,500 construction jobs in coming years.

Other projects he noted include replacement of the George Washington Bridge suspension cables, for nearly $1 billion; a $500 million private expansion of the Port Newark Container Terminal; a $183 million renovation and expansion of the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal; and a $139 million rehabilitation of the Lincoln Tunnel Helix.

"There is no other entity, private or public, anywhere in New Jersey, investing more in the next few years, in infrastructure and capital projects, than the Port Authority," said Baroni. "Over the next three years, we will begin more than $7 billion in public and private capital projects."
Conspicuously absent from Baroni’s remarks was any mention of last summer’s record toll hike that will help pay for some of those projects.

Likewise, none of 100 attendees of the industry association’s Executives and Officers Breakfast at the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton asked about the toll hike. The hike generated controversy over its size — an increase as much as 50 percent when paying cash — its one-day public hearing process, and it rationale.

Baroni’s friendly reception by the group was not surprising. Association members include some of the biggest names in the state’s construction industry, including some who stand to gain from the projects Baroni talked about. The CEO of J. Fletcher Creamer & Son of Hackensack, J. Fletcher Creamer Jr., a longtime friend of Baroni’s, said his firm hopes to take part in the Goethals project.
Still, the association’s chairman, Louis Weiss, said he was surprised that no one questioned Baroni on the toll hike.

"That’s something that I thought was going to be asked," said Weiss, CEO of Hackensack-based WFM Project & Construction, a consulting firm.

The hike raised peak-hour tolls for passenger vehicles from $8 to $9.50 for E-ZPass users and $12 for cash customers, rising to $12.50 and $15, respectively, by December 2015. For trucks, the toll rose $2 per axle, and will rise by an additional $2 per axle each year through 2015, for E-ZPass Truckers.

Gail Toth, executive director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, said the hike hurt some of her members’ businesses and was likely to drive up consumer prices. Still, Toth could understand how businesses that don’t rely on interstate travel might not have a problem with the toll hike.

"It’s very possible that if they’re New Jersey-domiciled businesses they don’t feel it," she said.

In 1931 the Port Authority was working on both the George Washington Bridge, which opened Oct. 24, and the Bayonne Bridge, which opened Nov. 15. The Goethals Bridge opened in June 1928.

Posted on: 2012/3/13 22:26
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