Governor Chris Christie issued the following statement on the Obama Administration's announcement today that it will expedite the "Raise the Roadway" project, a modernization of the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate larger, post-Panamax container ships following the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2015:
"This is great news for New Jersey and great news for the region. In addition to the job growth and economic activity created by this project -- putting thousands of hardworking men and women of our building trades back on the job -- this world-class project will secure the Port of New York and New Jersey's role as the premier port of the east coast and as a powerful engine of our state and regional economies. I thank the President for his leadership on this issue, as well as our partners in New York and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their work in furthering this critical project."
In April, Governor Christie wrote to Obama Administration officials calling for a fast-tracking of the project, noting the significant, far-reaching impact of the project in securing near and long-term economic growth for both the regional and national economies. In that letter, the Governor wrote:
"With the Federal regulatory process well underway, the Bayonne Bridge is in an ideal position to expedite construction. Every month that the required regulatory review can be accelerated is one month sooner that the project can start construction, generate jobs, and get our economy moving forward."
This approval comes on the heels of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's announcement yesterday of their accelerated timeframe to complete the project, further reinforcing the value and commitment of all participants in this significant effort. Along with a half-billion dollar investment project at Port Newark to expand cargo volume capacity with a state-of-the-art container terminal, investment in one of the most modern freight rail systems, and the acquisition of new dock property, the Port Authority under Governors Christie and Cuomo has mapped out the right investment and growth strategy to bolster activity at our ports, attract new business, and create new jobs.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the busiest port on the eastern seaboard, processing 40 percent of east coast container imports. Every year, the port supports more than 280,000 jobs, $11.2 billion in personal income, and more than $36 billion in business income in the region.