Posts tagged with "Bayonne Bridge":

Placeholder Alt Text

Video> How the Bayonne Bridge's roadway will be lifted 64 feet

The 82-year-old Bayonne Bridge is getting some work done. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has begun the $1.3 billion process to raise the bridge's roadway by 64 feet. Why, exactly? Well, to keep up with the times of course. To accommodate larger shipping container–laden boats, the authority decided that the structure, which connects New Jersey with Staten Island, had to be raised. "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," explained the Port Authority on its website. "In order to ensure these new ships can reach our ports, the clearance limitation must be addressed." And, apparently, the quickest and most cost-effective way to address that is to keep the main structure intact and just raise the roadway itself—hence the "Raise the Roadway" project. When all is said and done, the road's surface will be 215 feet high and include a 12-foot-wide shared bike lane and pedestrian path. According to the authority, this design also "allows for future mass transit service." The project is slated to take four years, but the Port Authority is running things, so go ahead and tack on a few more years to that. In the meantime, check out the authority's strangely mesmerizing video on the construction process to get a sense of how this will all go down—or, rather, up.
Placeholder Alt Text

The Bayonne Question

The Port Authority has released a report conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which points out that the Bayonne Bridge will begin to impose more and more restrictions on commercial shipping. Designed by master bridge designer Othmar Ammann and architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1931, the span was at the time the longest steel arch bridge in the world, supporting a road bed of more than 8,000 feet, 1,675 feet of which hang from the arch with no intermediary support. However, its 165-foot height will no longer cut the mustard with todays larger ships, more and more of which are expected to pass through the region with the completion of upgrades at the Panama Canal to be completed in 2015. The Corps determined that the roadway could either be jacked up to 215 feet high, or, alternately, that the bridge could be knocked down and replaced with a tunnel. The Port Authority has devoted $10 million to figure out which is the best solution.