The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey said Wednesday it will propose raising the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge some 64 feet rather than completely replacing the bridge to accommodate larger container ships. The project is not expected to be as disruptive or expensive as replacing the span, which is an important commuter route connecting Bayonne, N.J., to Staten Island, N.Y.
With only 151 feet of clearance at the Kill van Kull channel, the bridge is too low for larger ships expected to serve port terminals beyond the span once the newly enlarged Panama Canal opens in 2014. The new project, the port authority said, would raise the clearance to 215 feet. (Read a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers analysis of the bridge's air draft.)
The port authority did not estimate what the project would cost, or say when it would be completed, but the authority in September set aside $1 billion toward a solution.