Officials announce multimillion-dollar project to improve New Jersey ports

Every day, large ships and container vessels come and go from Port Liberty in Bayonne, bringing goods ashore from all over the world. And to ensure that this does not change, future improvements are on the horizon.

“People take for granted where this stuff comes from and how it gets here,” said Bethann Rooney, director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“All these materials, goods and food, drinks, cars – they all come into the port of New York and New Jersey.”

The Port Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they are providing more than $50 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to dredge, rehabilitate and rebuild the seaport's berths. A berth is a place in the water where ships can moor and dock.

A separate $32 million project will deepen and widen the Gravesend anchorage outside the Kill van Kull waterway from its current depth of 47 feet to 50 feet, with work scheduled for completion in 2025.

“This port, the largest on the East Coast, must be able to handle that capacity while improving safety for boaters. That's an important aspect of what we're doing here, and in the long term, we also want to reinvest the dredged material we recover from this deepening project into environmental benefits,” said Michael Connor, assistant secretary for civil works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A project to deepen the harbor from 50 to 55 feet is even more advanced.

The project will involve dredging 28 miles of the federal channel, but that won't happen anytime soon. Officials say the project will help increase capacity and make the port more competitive in the future.

“The long-term effort is to ensure that this port can handle the largest container ships and the largest cargo ships that we expect in the future,” Connor said.

“We need to do it today so we are ready in 2040-2045,” Rooney said.

Officials believe that these investments will help the country's second-largest port continue to play a crucial and important role in supplying people with their goods.

Anna Harden

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