U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, and Robert Menendez announced the Subcommittee’s approval of $68 million to make critical improvements to the channels at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
This funding would deepen the harbor, allowing larger ships to enter the port once the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2014. The deeper harbor would complement the proposed Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” project, which Lautenberg and Menendez have strongly supported, including most recently in a March 28 letter.
Senators Lautenberg and Menendez have helped secure more than $800 million for the project and this $68 million is enough to complete the project, which will deepen the harbor to 50 feet. The Port of New York and New Jersey is critical to New Jersey’s economy as it supports nearly 270,000 jobs.
“With job loss on the rise in New Jersey this federal funding will put people to work making our state and region more competitive in the global economy,” Senator Lautenberg said. “It is a top priority to ensure the Port is prepared to handle the larger ships that will pass through the expanded Panama Canal. This is an important investment that will help the Port continue to support billions of dollars in business and hundreds of thousands of jobs in New Jersey and our region.”
“Securing the remaining funding to dredge the Port not only protects jobs, but also secures its place as the economic engine for the region and the East Coast’s largest port,” said Menendez, who helped broker the deal that allowed the dredging project to move forward in 1999. “I have been working on this project most of my Congressional career so it is very exciting to see this project finally come to completion.”
Senator Lautenberg is a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittees, which funds this project. The Fiscal Year 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations bill is expected to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
Dredging Today Staff, April 25, 2012;