Because the Bayonne 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. 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.
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. Project "Raise the Roadway” has significant long-term benefits including accommodating larger cargo vessels, local jobs and a newer and safer structure. 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.