Three New York Area Bridges to get Massive Overhaul

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(Jack Smith IV -- NJPR) The three bridges linking New Jersey and Staten Island will be getting major overhauls.

At its meeting Wednesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved contracts worth about $3 billion for work on the Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing.

The Goethals will be entirely rebuilt. The Bayonne Bridge will be raised 64 feet to accommodate bigger cargo ships from the Panama Canal. Both new structures will have pedestrian walkways, and officials say they will have "room for possible public transit options in the future."  (Just like another area bridge being built in the next few years -- the Tappan Zee.) But some transit advocates say transit-ready is not the same thing as a transit plan.

“It’s good that they’re accommodating other types of transport,” said Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, “but it’s simply not enough to say that new infrastructure will be built in the future. We saw how that worked out for the George Washington Bridge. There needs to be some very specific design initiatives.”

Work on the bridges is expected to begin by the end of the year.