Port Authority Approves Project To Link Routes 278 And 1&9

NEW YORK — The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has authorized a $130 million construction project to  link Interstate 278 and U.S. Routes 1 & 9  on the New Jersey side of the Goethals Bridge.

The Goethals Bridge Interchange Ramps Project  is expected to significantly improve traffic safety, local roadway congestion and traffic movement. It will result in more efficient traffic flows, reduced vehicle travel and idling times, as well as reduced overall fuel consumption and air pollution caused by vehicular traffic, officials said.

Currently, the existing partial interchange on the New Jersey side of the Goethals Bridge does not provide direct connections from southbound Routes 1&9 to eastbound I-278 or from westbound I-278 to northbound Routes 1&9.

The lack of connections force commuters to utilize local roads, adding congestion on city streets in Elizabeth and Linden and increasing travel time for commuters traveling over the Goethals Bridge. When the project is complete, approximately 1,500 cars and trucks will be removed from local city streets.

“This project will significantly improve traffic movement to and from the Goethals Bridge and reduce congestion and hazardous traffic conditions on the streets of Elizabeth and Linden, New Jersey,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “It also advances two key agency objectives – enhancing the transportation infrastructure that fuels our region’s economy and reducing the environmental impact of commerce on local communities.”

“As we move forward on the innovative public-private partnership for a new Goethals Bridge, we must take a holistic approach to improving the transportation infrastructure connecting New York and New Jersey,” said Port Authority Vice Chair Scott Rechler. “We’re continuously looking at ways we can improve connections from our bridges to local highways to give our customers a more direct route to their destination.”

In August 2012, the Board authorized planning work for the improvements to the interchange ramps. Upon completion of the planning and environmental effort, NJDOT, in coordination with the Port Authority, will take the lead in the bid process, design construction, right-of-way acquisition, and permitting process in connection with the project.

The Goethals Bridge Interchange Ramp Project is expected to be completed in 2019. It will result in 250 jobs, direct payroll wages of $22 million and $190 million in regional economic activity.

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