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$220M project to improve Port Newark access kicks off

On Nov. 29, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and federal and regional transportation officials announced the start of major construction work for the $220 million Port Street Corridor Improvement project to redesign and rebuild Port Newark's northern entrance at Port and Corbin streets. - PORT AUTHORITY

Posted on December 4, 2023

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey marked the start of major construction work during a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 29 on the $220 million Port Street Corridor Improvement project, designed to improve access and safety while reducing congestion at Port Newark.

Officials say the work will feature a more efficient roadway configuration with a wider turning radius, allowing for safer trucking operations to and from the Port Newark complex. The project is centered on the redesign and rebuild of the northern entrance at Port and Corbin streets and the adjacent Elizabeth Marine Terminal — a crucial link to the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 78 that provides access to Port Newark.

The area’s current configuration is a dangerous one, with hairpin turns and reduced sightlines, combined with heavy congestion. The ramp from Port Street to Corbin Street serves more than 3,500 vehicles during a typical peak hour, 40% of which is truck traffic. Between 2005 and 2022, more than 700 crashes were reported on the road.

Officials estimate that the improvements to lane capacity, turning radius and other safety features will reduce crashes by 37% and save some 700,000 hours of travel time for vehicles accessing the complex in the first full year following the completion of the project.

In 2021, the work received a $44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program.

“The start of construction on the Port Street Corridor Improvement project marks yet another milestone toward the ongoing enhancement of efficiency and safety at this critical transportation and logistics hub,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “These improvements will further boost the performance and productivity of Port Newark, which remains integral to economic vitality and opportunity not just across the region, but in adjacent communities. Indeed, the project will entail extensive local engagement and hiring, including among women and minority residents in Newark and Elizabeth, two of our state’s most populous cities.”

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said the last few years have shown how vital it is to keep every link in our supply chain robust and ready.

“This project does exactly that, modernizing access points at this critical gateway so we can make sure everything from food to clothes to car and electronics is arriving on time for the millions of consumers in the region, while also injecting money into the local economy by prioritizing the hiring of local contractors and workers,” said O’Toole.

Officials say the project will generate 260 additional direct jobs during construction as well as $25 million in direct wages and $171 million in regional economic activity — in addition to what it will mean for day-to-day operations at the port complex.

“This project will mean a safer, faster trip for trucks and other vehicles serving our seaport that require access to the port complex every day,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “That will have ripple effects across the regional and national supply chain, helping the Port of New York and New Jersey stay ahead of the curve as cargo volumes continue to grow in the years ahead.”

“The Port Street Corridor Improvement project will modernize the ramps and roads of the largest port on the East Coast, ensuring safe and efficient travel for the hundreds and thousands of vehicles that use the port each day,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. “This project will not only alleviate traffic and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will also improve air quality for surrounding communities and enhance the efficiency of the port’s operations.”

“As the busiest port complex on the East Coast, Port Newark drives economic growth in our region, moving goods and creating thousands of good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., who along with Menendez, and working with Port Authority leaders, helped secure the critical grant funding. “So we can fund significant roadway upgrades to make transportation safer and more efficient for the trucks and vehicles visiting the port.”

Port Newark


“The Port Authority’s Port Street project will provide a seamless movement of freight into and out of New Jersey’s port complexes, improving air quality and reducing transportation times, leading to economic benefits across the region,” said State Transportation Commissioner and Murphy Chief of Staff Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

Maritime Administration (MARAD) Administrator Admiral Ann Phillips said that this project represents what is possible when ports have the vision and opportunity to build capacity to meet the nation’s freight transportation needs.

“In that this project will address aging infrastructure, provide environmental benefits, and it will ultimately enhance the connection of both large and small American communities to the global economy,” said Phillips.

Officials note that the port will remain fully operational through every stage of construction. Work is scheduled to be completed in 2028.


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