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Goethals Bridge, NJ

(May – June 2004)
Manual turning movements counts, ATR and Calibration counts
Company Name: Eng Wong, Taub & Associates
One Gateway Center, 7th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Tel.: (973) 693-4488
Reference: Mr. Luis Franco

Cost: $38,006

FROM ELIZABETH TO HOWLAND HOOK: Since 1868, bills to secure a bridge, or a series of bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey had been introduced in the New York and New Jersey state legislatures. The 1890 construction of the Arthur Kill railroad bridge, near the current site of the Goethals Bridge, extended the industrial growth of the Newark-Elizabeth area into the Howland Hook section of Staten Island. However, the bridge exclusively served freight traffic. Three ferries, all of which were being taxed beyond their capacities, served passenger traffic between Staten Island and New Jersey.

New solutions were sought to deal with the surging demand in automobile and truck travel after World War I. In 1923, the New York and New Jersey Bridge and Tunnel Commission issued a report calling for the reconstruction of a combination highway and railroad bridge between Staten Island and Elizabeth to replace the existing railroad swing bridge. The report also called for the construction of a highway bridge between Staten Island and Perth Amboy.

Since the channel was shallow, and a low-level bridge was thought to be the solution, the cost was expected to be low. However, the New Jersey State Board of Commerce attacked the idea of building a low-level bridge, and instead advocated constructing a bridge with a 135-foot clearance to insure the viability of New Jersey ports. The two state legislatures acceded to this demand, and assigned construction of the bridge to a new bi-state agency: the Port of New York Authority. The bridge proposal was to be part of an integral port improvement.
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