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PORTS The 9,200-TEU MSC Maeva, the largest containership to call at PNCT, at the terminal with two other ships by John R. Snyder, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Expanding for thE Expansion PNCT investing $500 million to upgrade for anticipated increased container traffic M ore than 5 million TEU and $175 billion in cargo moves through the Port of New York and New Jersey on an annual basis. With the expansion of the Panama Canal expected to be completed in 2014, New York City area container terminals are expected to reap substantial benefits. While the Panama Canal expansion offers enormous opportunities for increased containership traffic in New York, one major roadblock that has to be addressed is the Bayonne Bridge. The bridge spans the Kill Van Kull waterway, connecting Bayonne, NJ, to Staten Island, NY. Containerships serving Port Newark and the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminals in New Jersey and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island must pass underneath the bridge, which has a current air draft of 152.4 ft at high tide. That makes it a tight squeeze for today’s generation containerships of 7,000 TEU, which must wait for the right tide conditions to pass—with only inches to spare—underneath the span. Ships that use the port want to be in and out no more than 24 hours after they arrive at Ambrose Light. However, when the Panama Canal expansion is complete in 2014, New Panamax Ships 1,200 feet long, with capacities of 12,000 TEU could be sailing to the port. To accommodate these New Panamax behemoths, the bridge—or more precisely bridge deck—will have to be raised. The raising of the bridge was one of seven infrastructure projects selected by the Obama Administration to receive a streamlined federal review and permitting process under its We Can’t Wait Initiative. The PANYNJ plans to fund the $1 billion to raise the air draft to 215 feet above mean high water, while still preserving the bridge’s historic arch. The project would be complete by 2016 and allow access to the port’s four main container terminals. “We’re absolutely banking on it,” says Jim Pellicio, President and CEO of the Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) of the Bayonne Bridge project. “The President has put it on the fast track. This is the time for us to make things happen.” When Pellicio says PNCT is “banking on it,” he’s not kidding. Under the terms of its lease with the PANYNJ, PNCT is committed to spending $500 million to improve the terminal and purchase equipment over the next 20 years. A joint venture of Ports America and TIL, PNCT leases 220 acres (including off‐ dock and rail) in Port Newark from the April 2013 MARINE LOG 59

Apr 2013 Marine Log Magazine

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