Goethals Bridge P3 project may face delays

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Goethals Bridge P3 project may face delays

A 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to replace the Goethals Bridge with a new $1.5 billion state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge may face delays to start construction.

In order for the The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) to move forward with the project, a bridge permit is needed from the US Coast Guard (USCG) given that the project would modify a bridge across a navigable waterway.

Despite assurances that the bridge permit would be approved in time to keep the project on track to start this year, the PANYNJ is now being told that the permit may not be issued until late October. This delay could throw the project's schedule off track by up to six months.

The Coast Guard said they could not prioritize the Goethals permit, and that other projects needed to be reviewed first.

The PANYNJ submitted its bridge permit application to the USCG in June 2010 and after some back and forth, the permit was said to be issued July 2013. The project deadline requires receipt of all permits by September 30th and so the assurance of July was on-schedule.

The PANYNJ was recently informed by the USCG that the permit would be issued in October. The consequences of this delay in the bridge permit to the Goethals Bridge Replacement project are significant. If the bridge permit is not received by the end of September, it could potentially delay the overall project by up to six months due to other factors involved. For example, this coming December, the Developer was planning to install cofferdams in the bridge waterway to allow work to continue during the "winter flounder" ban on in-water work that begins on January 1st. Without the permit and the cofferdams in place before the environmental window closes, work will be delayed until late spring 2014.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners awarded in late April 2013 a 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to replace the Goethals Bridge with a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge to NYNJ Link Partnership.

The NYNJ Link Partnership comprises Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc.Kiewit Development, together with lead contractors Kiewit Infrastructure, Weeks Marine, and Massman Construction.

Source: Senator Charles E. Schumer

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