The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in the US has announced that it will finalise the removal of the deck portion of Bayonne Bridge and raise the roadway ahead of schedule.
The Port Authority is now planning to remove the deck by the final quarter of 2015, half a year ahead of the 2016 schedule, to make sure that the project is completed in advance of commercial operations at the widened Panama Canal.
The authority plans to construct the elevated roadway 64ft above the existing deck in mid-2013 and raise the Bayonne Bridge 215ft above the Kill Van Kull waterway.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that raising the roadway on the Bayonne Bridge paves the way to a brighter, competitive economic future for New Jersey and the region.
"Completing this important project ahead of schedule will ensure that our ports remain a vital link to the global economy and the destination of choice for international shippers and cargo," Christie added.
New York Governor Cuomo said: "The expedited construction timeline puts the Port Authority on pace to complete this major construction project ahead of schedule and positions our region's port to receive larger post-Panamax ships when the Panama Canal is widened."
The project is expected to provide New York and New Jersey with a competitive edge over other ports and establish it as the East Coast's leading destination for international shippers.
Image: The current Bayonne Bridge as seen from Richmond Port, Staten Island. Photo: courtesy of Decumanus.