Bayonne Bridge Will Be Raised to Accommodate Larger Ships
Bayonne Bridge When the widening of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014, a new generation of "Panamax" ships will begin to dock at ports along the East Coast. However, the existing 151-foot vertical clearance of the Bayonne Bridge would pose navigational issues for taller types of vessels using the Kill Van Kull to reach New Jersey's container terminals in Elizabeth and Newark. To prevent a potential loss of cargo to other ports along the eastern seaboard, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey studied a number of options including constructing a replacement bridge or tunnel, jacking up the entire bridge, or raising the bridge's roadway.

On December 29, 2010, the Port Authority announced that its preferred alternative to address the bridge's clearance issue is to raise the main span roadway by 64 feet, which will allow the crossing to accommodate larger ships for years to come. This option will require the reconstruction of existing approach roadways and ramps yet will leave the historic arch structure in place.

Opened to traffic on November 15, 1931, the Bayonne Bridge was one of six bridges designed by Othmar Ammann, along with the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, George Washington Bridge, Triborough Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It was the longest steel arch bridge in the world for a period of 46 years and was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by ASCE in 1985.