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Bayonne Bridge

The Bayonne Bridge. Looking west from Staten Island. Photos by the author unless indicated otherwise.

Bayonne Bridge Reconstruction: Raising the Road on America’s Largest Suspended Arch Bridge

In general, new construction reflects local real estate demand and community needs. But given New York’s position as a global economic hub, it is not surprising that one of the city’s largest engineering efforts is a direct response to a megaproject 2,200 miles away. The suspended roadbed of the 84-year-old Bayonne Bridge, which spans the Kill Van Kull strait between Staten Island and Bayonne, N.J., is too low for passage of the latest, giant container ships built to traverse the expanded Panama Canal locks. If the Port of New York and New Jersey fails to accommodate such vessels, the nation’s largest metro area would suffer considerable economic damage. To keep up with the canal’s expansion, slated to open later this year, the Port Authority is raising the bridge roadbed from 151 to 215 feet above the mean water level. The Navigational Clearance Project is expected to cost $1.3 billion.

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