News Releases


New York District
Published May 29, 2024

$50 Million Through Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to Help Rebuild Piers, Keep Berths Clear

Separate $32 Million Project Advances Deepening of Gravesend Anchorage Allowing for Large Container Ships to Stop Closer to the Seaport, Shorten Journeys and Improve Productivity

Port Authority and U.S. Army Corps Sign Future-Oriented Pre-Construction Engineering and Design Agreement to Advance Planning for Deepening of Port Navigational Channels to 55 Feet in the 2040s

Initiatives Will Bolster Country’s Second-Busiest Port and Critical Link in Global Supply Chain

Photos from the Event are Available Here; Video is Available Here

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today outlined a multifaceted package of significant investments in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to boost navigational safety and efficiency at the East Coast’s busiest container port.

The investments will pave the way for tangible improvements to the Port of New York and New Jersey’s safety and efficiency, as well as enabling further growth of a national economic powerhouse that supports over half a million regional jobs and the movement of more than $200 billion in goods every year.

The new investments between the Port Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers include more than $50 million through the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for the seaport’s berth maintenance dredging, berth rehabilitation and berth reconstruction.

Additionally, a separate $32 million project will deepen and widen the Gravesend Anchorage outside the Kill van Kull waterway from its current depth of 47 feet to 50 feet, which will provide a location for large ships to anchor between Ambrose Anchorage in the Atlantic Ocean and the seaport’s container terminals. Anchorage space that is large and deep enough to handle the largest container ships calling the Port of New York and New Jersey improves the port’s safety and efficiency, allowing large ships to move closer to the port during inspections, refueling or inclement weather and to have an emergency refuge area in the event of a mechanical or navigational issue.

During the pandemic, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled cargo volumes that ranged from nearly 19 percent to more than 47 percent above the amount of cargo handled before the pandemic. In 2022, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was the country’s busiest for four consecutive months during the industry’s shipping peak period. The Port of New York and New Jersey is now the country’s second-busiest port and a critical link in the global supply chain.

“For about 50 million people across several states, this port is the reason why we have food to eat, shoes on our feet and beds to go to sleep,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The port is the economic foundation on which the region is built, and now we’re strengthening that foundation even further with millions of dollars of investment alongside our longtime partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

“Our gateway’s flexibility and efficiency have enabled us to absorb an unprecedented cargo surge during the pandemic and lend a helping hand when disaster struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The port’s success is built upon our partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, and we thank them for their longtime support of the Port of New York and New Jersey.”

“Our collaboration with the Port Authority, the states of New York and New Jersey, and the U.S. Coast Guard is essential in ensuring the port remains competitive and capable of handling large container vessels that help drive our nation’s supply chain and spur economic growth,” said Michael Connor, assistant secretary of civil works of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “This plan is a major priority for the Biden administration and sets forth a consensus vision and strategy for future ecosystem restoration in the region that, in concert with our navigation improvements to come, will ensure the Port of New York and New Jersey remains a premier port for the years to come.”

“These projects in the NY-NJ harbor that we fight hard in Congress to authorize are critical to sustaining operations at one of the largest and busiest ports in America — the Port of New York and New Jersey,” said U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. “The work of the U.S. Army Corps and the Port Authority won’t just help to ensure that our port is equipped to handle the demands of our economy; it will improve the economic competitiveness of New Jersey, New York, and America in the long term.”

“I’m glad to see that the Port Authority is collaborating with the Army Corps of Engineers to improve and modernize a vital component of New Jersey and our nation’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. “The new federal investments included for these Port improvements follow years of strong advocacy by me and the rest of the New Jersey congressional delegation. Billions of dollars of the nation’s commerce flow through our region, and we need a modern, efficient port to keep Jersey’s economy moving.”

"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its port facilities are essential to our nation’s economy,” said U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez of New Jersey. “Through the Port Authority’s partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we are enhancing port operations by increasing cargo capacity, while continuing to create jobs and drive economic growth. I look forward to working together with all stakeholders to further modernize our port and improve the harbor, ensuring our region remains the leader in the port industry for decades to come.”

“This partnership with the Army Corps helps the Port of New York and New Jersey bolster its international reputation as a safe, steady and efficient commercial gateway for the densest population of customers in the United States,” said Bethann Rooney, director of the Port Department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “These projects will make it possible for our seaport to serve a region whose demand for products made overseas is steadily increasing. The levels of cargo growth we saw during the pandemic will return as the new normal, and we – along with everyone in the supply chain – must prepare now for that future.”

The Port Authority’s longstanding partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Channel Deepening Program dates to 1989, when both parties started work on a $2.1 billion project that deepened New York Harbor’s federal navigational channels to its current depth of 50 feet. Work on that initiative was completed in 2016, after which the Port Authority raised the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge to a navigational height clearance of 215 feet that allowed the largest container ships in the world at the time to sail through the Kill van Kull to access the port’s terminals in New York and New Jersey. The harbor deepening project helped keep the Port of New York and New Jersey competitive within a global logistics industry that is increasingly using larger container ships to move containerized oceangoing cargo. The Port Authority expects the seaport’s cargo volumes to double or triple by 2050, as forecasted in the seaport’s capital and operating improvements blueprint known as Port Master Plan 2050.

In December 2023, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners authorized participation in a $20 million project engineering and design (PED) effort, split evenly between the Port Authority and U.S. Army Corps, to further refine the cost and schedule for the New York/New Jersey Harbor Deepening and Channel Improvement Project, which will further deepen and widen the navigational channels in the port by an additional five feet. On Wednesday, both parties signed an agreement at the port’s marine facility in Bayonne to move the project forward to the PED phase. This phase will include inspections of the current channel, ship simulation modeling and design, and the composition of plans and specifications for the project.  The construction schedule would be subject to further appropriations by Congress and authorization by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

“The New York District is honored to work alongside the Port Authority on these vital projects. Our collaborative efforts are crucial in ensuring the port's ability to remain a leading gateway for international trade, capable of handling the world's largest container vessels,” said Col. Alex Young, New York District commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Our final integrated report recommends deepening the pathways to Port Newark, the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal and the Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal. This strategic initiative is essential for enhancing our port’s capacity and efficiency. This comprehensive plan not only aims to improve navigation but also prioritizes ecosystem restoration, reflecting our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

“The growing partnership between the Port Authority of NY and NJ and USACE speaks to the value of New Jersey’s position in global trade. These investments at the port are necessary to bolster operations, increase efficiency, and expand economic opportunity,” said New Jersey state Sen. Angela V. McKnight. “I want to thank the Port Authority, the USACE, and the port and union workers for keeping New Jersey competitive with the improvements announced today, and I look forward to seeing the Port’s continual transformation.”  

“Maritime and commercial jobs throughout the region depend on a harbor that will be able to handle the large ships of the future,” said Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis. “The Port of New York and New Jersey must be able to compete with other ports in the United States and around the world. The city of Bayonne and the Port Authority have worked in partnership before, most notably in the project that raised the Bayonne Bridge.  The Raise the Roadway program has enabled shipping to continue in the Kill Van Kull.  We look forward to these new programs that will maintain jobs on the Bayonne waterfront and beyond.”

The package of waterway improvement initiatives complement the Port Authority’s investments in the port’s land access, which include an ongoing $220 million project to redesign and rebuild the northern entrance of Port Newark at Port and Corbin streets. The interchange serves as a crucial link to the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 78 and provides access to one of the seaport’s busiest marine facilities. Additionally, the Port Authority has invested more than $600 million to modernize its on-dock intermodal facilities that connect the port to the national freight rail network, adding flexibility for port stakeholders.

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Release no. 24-006