The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have officially celebrated the completion of the port’s Main Navigation Channel Deepening Program, a major milestone in the port’s ongoing efforts to assure its global competitiveness, continued growth, and job creation.
The $2.1 billion project, cost shared between the Corps and the Port Authority was initiated prior to the announced improvements to the Panama Canal, and will maintain the port’s position as a premiere port on the East Coast.
From 1989 to 2016, 38 miles of federal navigation channels in the New York Harbor have been deepened to a navigable depth.
The Port of New York and New Jersey is the gateway to one of the most concentrated and affluent consumer markets in the world. It is the largest port on the East Coast, and the third-largest in the nation.
The mega project provides a safe and economically efficient pathway for the newest generation of container ships calling in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
“This harbor deepening may be the most important and influential project related to modern day economics in the Northeast. Modern-day container ships may now enter the port fully loaded and safely,” said Col. David Caldwell, the Army Corps’ New York District Commander.
“The harbor deepening was accomplished safely even while the port remained opened throughout all phases of construction, whether dredging or blasting. This $2.1 billion project was executed in a manner that allowed for over $800 million in savings and all the dredge material was used beneficially to enhance the environment,” added Col. David Caldwell.
“Completion of the harbor deepening project is a major milestone in our efforts to meet the needs of the region’s 23 million consumers now and in the future,” said Port Authority Port Department Director Molly Campbell. “It culminates more than 25 years of work and $6 billion in public and private sector investment to ready the port for the new generation of vessels, and will continue to support the 336,000 jobs and billions in economic activity the port generates.”
In addition to the economic benefits to the port commerce, sand dredged from the channels was used to restore wetland habitats at several marsh sites within Jamaica Bay, N.Y. and wetlands within an existing impacted brownfield site in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.
Approximately 900,000 cubic yards of sands and glacial tills from the Port Jersey Channel was used to restore shallow water fish habitat in an unused navigation channel south of the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, NJ.
The larger generation of container ships will save transportation costs for consumer products arriving from overseas, and are more environmentally friendly sporting more fuel-efficient engines while equipped with the latest technologies in air emission control systems.