Source: Lloyd’s List
June 13th 2016
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed the port will be able to handle 14,000 teu vessels toward the end of 2017, in response to media reports questioning the ports’ ability to do so.
“With the planned completion of the 50 ft (15.2 m) harbour deepening project later this summer, the anticipated completion of the navigational clearance at the Bayonne Bridge late next year, coupled with billions of dollars of investment in infrastructure and equipment by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and our marine terminal operators over the past decade, the Port of NY & NJ will be ready to handle your larger vessels and is your premier US east coast gateway,” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey director of port commerce Molly Campbell said in a letter.
The port authority said reports published last week questioning the port’s ability to handle the vessels were incorrect. It added that Sandy Hook Pilots’ Association, the pilotage service provider for New York and New Jersey, was certain that 14,000 teu transits could be handled safely.
In the letter, Ms Campbell said the harbour deepening project was initiated in 1997, when the maximum vessel size anticipated was quite different to what it is today.
It will take a few years to complete a re-evaluation study to validate the new harbour configuration’s adequacy in handling current and anticipated vessel activity.
She noted the re-evaluation study will not impact operational plans but rather inform port authorities of future investment needs.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is now in the middle of raising the Bayonne Bridge to give it a 65.5 m navigational clearance in order to accommodate much larger vessels entering Newark Bay once the new Panama Canal locks are completed later this month.