Four development projects are underway at the largest port on the East Coast and the third largest in the US: deepening all channels to 50 feet, new rail connections, raising the Bayonne Bridge (discussed in our prior post here), and terminal expansions and improvements. In addition to these improvements estimated to cost $3 billion, the Port Authority just announced a new project – a $105 million improvement of five major roads serving the Newark-Elizabeth complex.
In addition to overseeing bridges, tunnels, and airports The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey runs a complex of five seaports. A map of the containerized cargo ports shows three in New Jersey – Port Jersey Marine Terminal in Bayonne and Jersey City, Port Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Port Newark Container Terminal, and two in New York – New York Container Terminal (Howland Hook) on Staten Island, and Red Hook Container Terminal in Brooklyn.
In 2005, Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay channels were deepened to 45 feet to provide access to the Port Newark and the Elizabeth Port Marine Terminal. Dredging is presently underway to deepen all key channels to 50 feet and should be completed this year. This harbor deepening project is intended to allow the Port to take advantage of the Panama Canal expansion which will allow much larger vessels. In addition to this project, the Bayonne Bridge will be raised 65 feet for a clearance of 215 feet to accommodate super post-panamax vessels.
ExpressRail, already in place at the Howland Hook terminal, will build additional tracks in Elizabeth and Port Newark as well as a new support yard. Canada is a growing market for the Port of New York and New Jersey. Montreal and Toronto being located closer to New York than to Halifax. The Port of New York and New Jersey is typically the first port of call for vessels utilizing the Panama Canal with cargo headed for Canada. This expansion of rail capability will keep the Port competitive by taking advantage of Canadian commercial opportunities.
Additional berths, cranes, rail facilities, and land acquisitions will poise the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to double its trading volume within the next ten years. In 2012, cargo tonnage totaled 80.8 million metric tons with a value of $210.5 billion (including auto cargo). Almost 30% of its trade originated in China. Approximately 80% of the cargo entering the port is distributed within 100 miles of the port.
In December, 2013, the Port announced an additional thrust to improve its transport infrastructure by planning to spend $105 million on realigning and widening sections of five access roads to the Newark and Elizabeth ports. Over the years these roads have deteriorated due to traffic and a lack of maintenance.
The improvements aim to reduce congestion, thereby lessening the amount of harmful exhaust emissions from idling trucks, and enhance road safety with new surfaces and signage, realignments and drainage. Changes are now in the design stage with construction to commence shortly.
In addition to the containers, cars and bulk cargo entering the port authority complexes, the Bayway Refinery handles bulk oil as well as chemicals. It is located in Linden and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Operated by Phillips 66 (formerly Conoco Phillips), this refinery is one of the largest on the East Coast, as reported in Forbes. Tankers bring crude oil from Nova Scotia and Africa. The refinery can store 75+ million barrels. The additional ongoing dredging project will ensure safe navigation. At present there is only two feet of clearance in some of the channels carrying these vessels.