US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced a $474m Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to construct a replacement for the Goethals Bridge that links Elizabeth, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York.
The existing bridge will be replaced by a new cable-stayed bridge, comprising six 12ft-wide travel lanes, a 12ft-wide outer shoulder and a 5ft-wide inner shoulder on each roadway.
The new bridge will also provide a 10ft-wide sidewalk and bikeway along the northern edge of the New Jersey bound roadway, along with sufficient space between the eastbound and westbound roadway decks to accommodate future transit service.
Secretary Foxx said: “This important investment will help replace a bridge that is nearly 100 years old with one that will better serve businesses and families today and well into the future.”
The proposed loan is part of the $1.5bn total cost of the project.
The project is being constructed through a private, long-term development contract with NYNJ Link, a consortium of Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets and Kiewit Construction, which will design, build, finance and maintain the new bridge.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) will maintain responsibility for setting and collecting tolls.
According to PANYNJ, more than $33bn in regional goods passes across the bridge every year, and an average of 74,000 vehicles cross the bridge in both directions each weekday.
Built in 1928, the Goethals Bridge is now part of Interstate 278, and currently features an outdated design with no shoulders and narrow, 10-ft lanes, creating traffic congestion.
Federal Highway administrator Victor Mendez said: “This project demonstrates the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure”.
“The Goethals Bridge will help move New York and New Jersey commuters as well as critical cargo more efficiently.
“The wider lanes of the new bridge will provide a safer trip for all drivers, whether they are going from New York City to Newark Airport or commuting from New Jersey on I-278 all the way to the Brooklyn.”