The Bayonne Question

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Bayonne Bridge is currently the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world.

The Bayonne Bridge is currently the fourth longest steel arch bridge in the world.

The Port Authority has released a report conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which points out that the Bayonne Bridge will begin to impose more and more restrictions on commercial shipping. Designed by master bridge designer Othmar Ammann and architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1931, the span was at the time the longest steel arch bridge in the world, supporting a road bed of more than 8,000 feet, 1,675 feet of which hang from the arch with no intermediary support. However, its 165-foot height will no longer cut the mustard with todays larger ships, more and more of which are expected to pass through the region with the completion of upgrades at the Panama Canal to be completed in 2015. The Corps determined that the roadway could either be jacked up to 215 feet high, or, alternately, that the bridge could be knocked down and replaced with a tunnel. The Port Authority has devoted $10 million to figure out which is the best solution.

5 Responses to “The Bayonne Question”

  1. stevenj says:

    Let’s finally have a great cable -stayed bridge here finally, single tower! Sorta like the new section of SF-Oakland Bridge/ [How far along is that already?]

  2. Frank-in-NYC says:

    A vanity structure would be nice, but a tunnel which includes rail would be more beneficial. It won’t face the issue of larger shipping equipment in another few years. Extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Staten Island using the abandoned north short branch of the SIRR.

    I can’t imagine jacking up the existing roadway 50 extra feet would be cheaper than rebuilding.

  3. Adam says:

    PATH, not HBLR, should be put over the new bridge.

  4. sajh says:

    Either rebuilding route they do, they should consider a commuter rail line along with it connecting Jersey City to St. George (lines from St George already there).

  5. Jacob says:

    It makes no sense for PATH to go there. HBLR already leads up to the Bridge and Staten Islanders are begging for it to be extended to reach them. In fact, they campaigned and got the SI89 bus to run across the Bayonne bridge so Staten Islanders can use HBLR.

    Any plan (bridge or tunnel) should include light rail, and a substantial ped/bike path.

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