AASHTO Journal, 8 November, 2013
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week that the heavily traveled Goethals Bridge, which connects Elizabeth, N.J. to Staten Island, N.Y., will receive a major financial boost for its replacement from the federal TIFIA loan program.
To help complete the new $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge, USDOT will provide a $474 million TIFIA loan. Originally constructed in 1928, the bridge has become difficult to navigate with no shoulders and narrow 10-foot lanes, especially for emergency vehicles. With about 74,000 vehicles each day utilizing it and more than $33 billion in regional goods passing over it each year, the Goethals Bridge will undergo a full replacement through a public private partnership to upgrade the passing for safety and convenience that will include six 12-feet wide travel lanes, an outer shoulder (12 feet wide), and an inner shoulder five feet wide. The new cable-stayed bridge will also include a 10-foot wide sidewalk and bikeway along the northern edge of the New Jersey-bound roadway and enough space between both sides of traffic to allow for any future transit service.
“This project demonstrates the importance in investing in our transportation infrastructure,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez in a statement. “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 Brooklyn.”
TIFIA provides federal assistance through direct loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit to pay for transportation projects of national and regional significance. That TIFIA credit help gives agencies better access to capital markets, more flexible repayment terms, and sometimes better interest rates available in private capital markets. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, each dollar of federal funds can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance, as well as leverage $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. TIFIA often helps to advance projects that had previously been deferred because of their size, complexity, or funding uncertainty.
The Goethals Bridge is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. PANYNJ will be in charge of setting and collecting tolls for the project.
Additional information on the Goethals Bridge replacement is available here.