Bayonne Bridge project receives boost

TRENTON – The Obama administration announced that it will expedite the project to modernize the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate larger ships once the Panama Canal expansion is completed.

Gov. Chris Christie applauded the decision, which his administration in April asked Washington, D.C., to fast-track.

“This is great news for New Jersey and great news for the region,” Christie said in a release. “In addition to the job growth and economic activity created by this project – putting thousands of hardworking men and women of our building trades back on the job – this world-class project will secure the Port of New York and New Jersey’s role as the premier port of the east coast and as a powerful engine of our state and regional economies.

“I thank the President for his leadership on this issue, as well as our partners in New York and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their work in furthering this critical project.”

The so-called “Raise the Roadway” project will enable the waterway to handle the larger container ships that will be accommodated once the canal project is done in 2014.

This approval follows an announcement Wednesday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey of an accelerated timeframe to complete the project, Christie’s office said.

In the letter sent in April, Christie said that it is essential that the bridge’s navigational clearance of 151 feet  be increased. He said the project could generate about 1,000 jobs.

Bayonne Bridge project receives boost