$1.3 billion Bayonne Bridge raising misses Panama Canal opening — work continues

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The $1.3 billion Port Authority Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” project has been set back by two years, meaning that shippers cannot take advantage of the Panama Canal’s larger capacity until 2019.

The project’s delay results from several factors, the Port Authority has said, including: the harsh winter of 2014 to 2015; changes in project staging to address community concerns and reduce construction impacts overnight; modifications to the existing steel arch to ensure safety and allow traffic to continue during construction; as well as steel reinforcement activities requiring additional repairs.

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The project, constructed by a joint venture of Skanska Koch/Kiewit Infrastructure Co., will increase the navigational clearance under the crossing to 215 ft. to accommodate larger ships. It will also provide commuters with a modern roadway with 12-foot lanes and a 12-foot shared lane for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Port Authority executive director Pat Foye said in a Dec. 2015 statement that the “Raise the Roadway” project is “one of the most innovative and challenging projects” the bi-state agency has ever undertaken.

“Although a number of challenges have impacted the project’s timetable, we continue to monitor the Skanska JV’s construction progress and, together with Skanska JV, anticipate completion within the schedule announced today,” Foye said.

The agency estimates the delay ill result in an increase in project costs of about 15 percent.

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