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FACT SHEET - New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening and Channel Improvements Study

Navigation Project Feasibility Study

New York District
Published July 15, 2020

DESCRIPTION (PROJECT AREA AND PURPOSE): The Port of New York and New Jersey is the premier gateway to the world. It is a conduit of global commerce and a major generator of jobs and economic activity. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast of North America, the third largest in the nation, and one of the most productive high-volume port operations globally.  Encompassing the existing 50-foot navigation channel and surrounding areas, the HDP channel system includes various terminals and associated channels.  The affected environment or area of potential effect associated with the Port is defined as the catchment area that lies within 260 miles of Newark Bay, which is the distance that marks the length of land transportation at which the lower cost per ton mile cost but extra mode shift handling cost of rail transportation exactly counterbalances the higher per ton mile cost but lesser handling cost of truck transportation of a shipping container. This area encompasses all or part of 17 states.  In 2015, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey facilitated the movement of approximately 6.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), an increase of over 10 percent from 2014.   Getting goods into the hands of the consumers through an efficient and reliable transportation network is the cornerstone of the port’s competitive edge with global markets.  The port has premier access to rail, road, and inland waterway routes to transport goods to 23 million local consumers and up to 100 million customers within 36 hours at markets all over the U.S. and Canada.   The Port of New York and New Jersey’s six container terminals receive vessels from all of the world’s major ocean carriers serving nearly every region of the world.  Of the services that call on the Port of New York and New Jersey, 74 percent are first calls. Prior to the initiation of the Harbor Deepening Program, channels to the Harbor were inadequate to provide access to the large post-Panamax ships, which have drafts of 48 feet or more.  The Feasibility Study is to determine the possibility of improving navigation within the constructed 50 foot New York and New Jersey Harbor (NYNJ Harbor).   Examination of alternatives will include widening, bend-easing, and/or deepening the existing navigation channel’s dimensions will occur in a study area from the Atlantic Ocean Channel (Ambrose Channel) to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) facilities within the harbor.

STUDY AUTHORIZATION: The study authority for the Port of New York-New Jersey Harbor Navigation Study is §435 of the Water Resources Development Act (hereinafter, WRDA) of 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-303). Section 101(a)(2), Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-541).  In March 2018, an Initial Appraisal Report, Compliance with Section 216 of WRDA 1970 was completed to determine if there is potential Federal interest to undertake modifications to the existing HDP.   The Initial Appraisal Report found “the accelerating expansion of the volume of trade that has taken place over the recent past has led to the design vessel [the Regina Maersk] in the New York and New Jersey Harbor Navigation Study being superseded in use in the PONYNJ much sooner than anticipated in the 1999 Study.  This fact has a material effect on the economics and engineering design of the HDP.  A comparison of these facts with the requirements of §216 indicates that all of the requirements of §216 have been met.”  The Initial Appraisal Report made the recommendation to “investigate and determine if there is a Federal interest in continuing the project with the preparation of cost-shared feasibility report for analyzing alternatives to address the identified problems through possible modifications of the [HDP].”

STATUS: The New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening Channel Improvements (NYNJHDCI) draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment contains the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) feasibility study planning process for channel improvements for the existing New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening Project.  This Report documents compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as incorporated into the planning process. All Report documents are available under 'Study Report' on the left side of this page.  A public information session was held on December 3rd, 2020.

Due to stakeholder requests and to account for the Holiday Season, USACE-NY District, and PANYNJ as the local sponsor extended the public comment period for the New York & New Jersey Harbor Deepening and Channel Improvements Feasibility Study’s Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (Draft IFR/EA) and the Draft General Conformity (GC) Determination to January 19, 2021.  Two public information sessions were held at 2:00PM and 6:00 PM Eastern Time on December 03, 2020. The materials for those meetings can be found by clicking here.   The current study schedule has the Chief of Engineers’ Report approval in May 2022.



Total Estimated Study Cost Estimate: $3.0M, cost shared with the sponsor 50/50.



Mr. Mark Lulka
Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
New York District
26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278-0090
Phone: (917) 790-8205, Fax: (212) 264-2924
E-mail: mark.f.lulka@usace.army.mil


CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NY-07, NY-10, NY-11 and NJ-06, NJ-08, NJ-11