Christie wants $1 billion to raise a bridge near the Newark port

    The Bayonne Bridge that connects New Jersey with Staten Island is 30 feet too short if Newark is to continue to be a competitive port, according to Governor Chris Christie. He wants to spend $1 billion to increase clearance for bigger ships.

    New Jersey Governor Christie says spending $1 billion to allow taller ships under the Bayonne Bridge is a must to keep the region’s ports competitive.

    Governor Christie says the bridge project is the highest transportation priority of his administration. The 78-year old span that connects Staten Island and New Jersey has a clearance of about 150 feet. Port Authority chairman Anthony Coscia says it needs to be at least 30 feet higher to accommodate large ships trying to access New York and New Jersey.

    “We’re going to a point where we will correct that issue,” he says. “We will make this port as accessible as it has been in the past, and it will continue to be the premier port on the east coast of the United States and one of the premier ports in the world.”

    Coscia says once the Panama Canal is widened in 2015, bigger ships will be common.  Several options are being considered including raising the roadbed on the bridge or installing a hydraulic lift mechanism that would allow it to go up and down.

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