Goethals Bridge

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Goethals Bridge
Goethals Bridge.JPG
The Original Goethals Bridge, seen from Staten Island
Coordinates 40°38′09″N 74°11′49″W / 40.6358°N 74.1969°W / 40.6358; -74.1969Coordinates: 40°38′09″N 74°11′49″W / 40.6358°N 74.1969°W / 40.6358; -74.1969
Carries 4 lanes of I‑278
Crosses Arthur Kill
Locale Elizabeth, New Jersey and Howland Hook, Staten Island, New York, United States
Maintained by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
ID number 3800072
Characteristics
Design Cantilever bridge (Original)
dual-span cable-stayed twin bridge (New span)
Total length 7,109 ft (2,167 m)[1]
Width 62 ft (19 m)[1]
Longest span 672 ft (205 m)[1]
Clearance above 14 ft (4.3 m)
Clearance below 140 ft (43 m)[1]
History
Opened June 29, 1928; 89 years ago (1928-06-29) (Original Span)
June 10, 2017; 37 days ago (2017-06-10) (New span; Eastbound)
June 11, 2017; 36 days ago (2017-06-11) (New span; Westbound)
Closed June 9, 2017; 38 days ago (2017-06-09) (Original Span)
Statistics
Daily traffic 78,291 (2010)[2]
Toll (eastbound only) As of 6 December 2015; Cars $15 for cash, $12.50 for Peak (E-ZPass), $10.50 for off-peak (E-ZPass)
Goethals Bridge is located in New Jersey
Goethals Bridge
Goethals Bridge
Location in New Jersey and New York
Goethals Bridge is located in New York City
Goethals Bridge
Goethals Bridge
Location in New Jersey and New York
Goethals Bridge is located in New York
Goethals Bridge
Goethals Bridge
Location in New Jersey and New York
Goethals Bridge is located in the US
Goethals Bridge
Goethals Bridge
Location in New Jersey and New York

The Goethals Bridge /ˈɡɒθəlz/ is the name of two crossings connecting Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Staten Island, New York, in the United States. The bridges consist of a 1920s-era cantilever span and two newer cable-stayed crossings. Both cross a strait known as Arthur Kill. The bridges are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ),

The original cantilever span was one of the first structures built by the PANYNJ. On the New Jersey side it is located south of Newark Liberty International Airport. The bridge was grandfathered into Interstate 278, and named for Major General George Washington Goethals, who supervised construction of the Panama Canal and was the first consulting engineer of the PANYNJ.

In 2013, two new cable-stayed crossings, which would replace the cantilever span, were approved. The first of the two spans, running parallel to the old bridge, opened on June 10, 2017, at which time the original span was closed. The second new span will open in 2018.

Original bridge[edit]

Original Goethals Bridge as seen from New Jersey

A steel truss cantilever design by John Alexander Low Waddell, who also designed the Outerbridge Crossing, the original Goethals was 672 ft (205 m) long central span, 7,109 feet (2,168 m) long in total, 62 feet (19 m) wide, had a clearance of 135 feet (41.1 m) and had four lanes for traffic.[3] The Port Authority had $3 million of state money and raised $14 million in bonds to build the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing; the Goethals bridge construction began on September 1, 1925 and cost $7.2 million (=$97 million in 2015 adjusted for inflation). It and the Outerbridge Crossing opened on June 29, 1928.[4] The original Goethals Bridge replaced three ferries and is the immediate neighbor of the Arthur Kill Rail Bridge. Its unusual[3] mid-span height was a requirement of the New Jersey ports. The bridge was named for Major General George Washington Goethals, who supervised construction of the Panama Canal and was the first consulting engineer of the PANYNJ.[5]

Connecting onto the New Jersey Turnpike, it serves as one of the main routes for traffic between New Jersey and Brooklyn via the Staten Island Expressway and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The original Goethals Bridge did not recoup its construction costs until the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was completed in 1964, facilitating regional through-traffic across Staten Island to Brooklyn. The same was true of the Outerbridge Crossing. The total traffic in 2002 was 15.68 million vehicles.

The original Goethals Bridge held two 10-foot-wide (3.0 m) lanes in each direction, which did not meet the 12-foot (3.7 m) requirement of modern highway design standards. The bridge also had no shoulders for emergency access, or pedestrian walkways or bike paths. Its replacement bridge (twin, cable-stayed structures) address these deficiencies. An initial study in 1997 concluded that the optimal solution would be a parallel span. However, a more recent study suggested that the original span had only 10 years of life left, even with the recent deck rehabilitation, and that the optimal solution was an entirely new span. The choosing of the full replacement option was followed by the submittal of several design alternatives, alongside a "no build" option. The new bridge design, upon the completion of the west bound span (estimated to be in 2018) also include additional lanes of traffic, high-speed E-ZPass lanes, and a reconstruction and widening of Interstate 278 from exit 4 in New York (NY 440 South) to NJ 439 in New Jersey.

New bridge[edit]

A 3D rendering of the replacement bridge
A diagram comparing the four replacement alternatives and their position relative to the old bridge

The initial alternatives put forth in summer 2006 included the option of twin three-lane replacement bridges north and south of the original alignment, which was completely eliminated; and twin three-lane replacement bridges (one south, and one along the original alignment), with the latter being built after the demolition of the original bridge, which was refined to be a single-span bridge instead of twin bridges. The reason for the dropping of twin-bridge alternatives in fall 2007 was a request by the FAA to decrease the height of the bridge's towers to prevent interference with flights into and out of Newark Liberty International Airport. Public open houses were held in Staten Island and Elizabeth, and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued. Formal public hearings on the DEIS were held in July 2009.[6]

All alternatives proposed that the bridge be single level, cable-stayed, double spans, separated by towers with a height of 135 feet (41 m) above the high-water mark of the Arthur Kill shipping channel. Each deck would have three 12 ft (3.7 m) lanes with a 12 ft (3.7 m) outer shoulder and 5 ft (1.5 m) inner shoulder and the northern deck would feature a 10 ft (3.0 m) pedestrian walkway. In addition, permanent access roads would be built under the bridge on land for maintenance, security, and construction purposes.[7] Lastly, space would be left in between the two bridges to accommodate potential mass-transit services.[8]

For mass transit, studies indicated that a bus-only lane was not economically viable but that a high-occupancy vehicle lane open to buses as well as high-occupancy autos would be appropriate during rush hours if traffic supported it. Provision for rail transit was rejected; however, planners decided that whatever alternative was constructed, the design and structural integrity should ideally be able to be retrofitted for such at a later date. The suggestion for a freight rail connection was dismissed as uneconomic.[citation needed]

Also as part of the construction, improvements to approaches and nearby interchanges are being made. These include the New Jersey Turnpike exit 13 toll plaza (and perhaps the entire interchange), the Staten Island toll plaza, and the Interstate 278/NY 440 interchange. In addition, while separate from the bridge replacement project, the New Jersey Department of Transportation may construct full movements at the Interstate 278/U.S. Route 1/9 junction to coincide with the bridge's replacement.[9]

The new bridge was officially approved for preliminary funding by the Port Authority on April 24, 2013 and officially broke ground on May 2014.[citation needed] The old bridge closed on June 9, 2017, with eastbound traffic using the new eastbound bridge starting on June 10[10] and westbound traffic opening the next day.[11] Initially, the eastbound structure will carry 2 lanes of traffic in each direction, with each lane 11 feet wide, until the westbound span is completed in 2018. Once completed, the westbound span will restore pedestrian and bicycle access.[12]

Toll[edit]

As of December 6, 2015, the cash tolls going from New Jersey to New York are $15 for cars and motorcycles; there is no toll for passenger vehicles going from New York to New Jersey. E-ZPass users are charged $10.50 for cars and $9.50 for motorcycles during off-peak hours (outside of 6–10 a.m. and 4–8 p.m. on the weekdays; and outside of 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on the weekends) and $12.50 for cars and $11.50 for motorcycles during peak hours (6–10 a.m. and 4–8 p.m. on the weekdays; and 11 a.m.–9 p.m. on the weekends).[13]

In popular culture[edit]

The original Goethals Bridge was featured in the opening credits of The Sopranos.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Facts & Info - Goethals Bridge". Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  2. ^ "2010 Traffic Data Report for New York State" (PDF). New York State Department of Transportation. Appendix C. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b Jackson, Kenneith T.; New York Historical Society (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 471. ISBN 0300055366. 
  4. ^ "Two Bridges Open Over Arthur Kill. Traffic Between Staten Island and New Jersey Begins at 5 A.M. Without Ceremony. New Bus Service Starts. Borough President Lynch Will Ask Legal Action to Bar It as Bad for Business.". The New York Times. June 30, 1928. p. 35. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Happy Bridge Birthday". Staten Island Advance. June 27, 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-16. The Goethals Bridge, which links Elizabeth, N.J., with Mariners Harbor across the Arthur Kill, was named in memory of Major General George Washington Goethals. Goethals was the builder of the Panama Canal, and served as the first consulting engineer of the Port Authority. 
  6. ^ "Draft EIS Published". Archived from the original on 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  7. ^ "Refinement of Alternatives for EIS Analysis" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  8. ^ "Goethals Bridge Replacement". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  9. ^ "Goethals Bridge Interchange Ramps – "Missing Links"". The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: Bridges and Tunnels. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  10. ^ Fugallo, Nick (2017-06-11). "First span of new Goethals Bridge opens". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  11. ^ Porpora, Tracey (2017-06-11). "Goethals Bridge now open in both directions". SILive.com. Retrieved 2017-06-12. 
  12. ^ "Bridges and Tunnels". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  13. ^ "New Toll Fare Rates for the Bridges & Tunnels Effective December 6, 2015 at 3:00 AM". Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 

External links[edit]