The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorized $105 million for design, construction and realignment of parts of five main access roads to marine terminals in the Newark-Elizabeth port complex.
The road improvements are part of a years-long, multibillion-dollar infrastructure investment program that also has included dredging port channels to 50 feet, development of ExpressRail intermodal rail terminals, and raising the Bayonne Bridge to allow clearance by larger ships.
The port authority’s spending has been accompanied by expansion and improvements by marine terminals.
The road work on Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets and Doremus Avenue ner the Newark-Elizabeth port complex will include demolition and replacement of the Corbin Street Ramp, which has been the scene of accidents in the past three years.
The work will complement previous projects to widen McLester Street and widen and realign parts of Port Street and Brewster Road.
The road projects are part of the port’s $191.4 million capital plan for 2013.
The port authority said the improvements will reduce truck congestion on port property and eliminate approximately 281 pounds a year of harmful emissions caused by truck idling.
During the last several years the port authority has invested approximately $600 million in its ExpressRail system for intermodal transfer of containers. The first ExpressRail opened in 1991 between the APM and Maher terminals, and has been expanded to 18 tracks.
ExpressRail facilities also serve the Port Newark Container Terminal and the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island.
To help pay for ExpressRail and improvements to roads and other infrastructure, the port authority in 2010 established a cargo facility charge of $4.95 per 20-foot-equivalent unit of containers, $1.11 per vehicle, or 13 cents per metric ton of breakbulk cargo. Terminals collect the charge for the port authority and are required to deny service to carriers that don’t pay.
When it enacted the CFC, the port authority eliminated a $57.50 per-lift assessment on containers handled at the port’s ExpressRail ramps. The port authority said the change would aid port users by reducing road congestion through increased use of intermodal rail.
Nine container ship lines asked the Federal Maritime Commission to declare the charge illegal on grounds it discriminates among carriers by requiring all of them to pay for facilities that some may not use, and that it requires terminals to refuse service to carriers that didn’t pay the fee. “K” Line is continuing to pursue the FMC case.