GPI is providing construction management services for the $743-million Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program (BBNCP). The Bayonne Bridge is a steel arch structure, opened in 1931, which at that time was selected as the “Most Beautiful Steel Bridge” by the American Institute for Steel Construction. The bridge spans the Kill Van Kull and carries NY440 and NJ440. It became a National Historic Engineering Landmark in 1985.
With the expansion of the Panama Canal allowing the passage of new Post-Panamax container ships coming from Asia to reach the East Coast, the Bayonne Bridge was too low to allow these new vessels to pass underneath. Faced with the potential to devastate the New York and New Jersey shipping industry, which share the busiest port on the East Coast, the Port Authority planned the BBNCP to raise the roadbed of the bridge from its old height of 151 feet to a new height of 215 feet above mean high water.
The project involves building a new roadway 64 feet above the existing road. The new roadway includes two 30-foot-9-inch roadways with two 12-foot lanes each, a median divider, and 4-foot-9-inch shoulders. There is also a new bikeway and walkway being constructed along the entire length of the bridge, with access ramps to replace stairs.
The project is being phased with the eastern (future northbound) roadway opened to traffic on February 20, 2017, with one lane of traffic in each direction. The next phase, currently underway, involves the demolition of the old roadway and structure, which will allow the Post-Panamax ships to enter by the summer of 2017. Construction will then start on the final phase of the project, which will involve construction of the southbound lanes. An early spring 2019 completion is expected.