Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is what doing is described as "fast tracking a comprehensive review that will focus on providing best practices'' for financing the raising of the height of the Bayonne Bridge.
The 151-foot-high bridge over the Kill Van Kull between Bayonne and Staten Island must be raised 65 feet or replaced at a cost of $1.3 billion in order to keep the Port of Newark open to colossal containerships from Asia that are expected to begin docking in East Coast ports after the expansion of the Panama Canal is complete in 2015.
With both the Port Authority and the New Jersey and New York governments struggling financially, officials are trying to come up with methods to finance the raising of the bridge or a new one.
"New Jersey's ports are vital to the economic growth and competitiveness of our state and the region," Christie said. "If we are going to put our state back on track and create meaningful jobs, we must resolve the Bayonne Bridge issue in a manner that is both financially sound and environmentally safe. I am pleased by today's action and urge the authority to continue this concerted effort to move us closer to a viable solution for Bayonne Bridge."
According to the governor's office, port activity in New Jersey supports nearly 203,300 jobs and generates approximately $28.9 billion in business activity, including $3.9 billion in tax revenues.
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM