Goethals Bridge Project Agreement

In April 2013, the Port Authority awarded the P3 contract to the NYNJ Link Partnership, which reached its commercial accounts in August 2013 and became a financial agreement (including a $473 million TIFIA loan) in November 2013. Construction began in May 2014 and is expected to be completed for the most part by the end of 2017. The Goethals Bridge Replacement will be the Port Authority`s first new bridge in more than 80 years and is the first transportation project in the northeastern United States to be delivered as part of a long-term P3 concession. On 9 June 2017, the eastern scale of the new Goethals Bridge was opened to traffic and the Authority closed its 89-year-old predecessor. The westbound lanes were opened on May 19, 2018, so the replacement bridge is fully passable by the public. In order to accelerate the implementation and delivery of the Goethals Bridge replacement, while advancing the cash flow challenges associated with simultaneous mega-projects, the Port Authority has opted for a contract to design, design, finance and maintain the new bridge. This is the first use of a P3 on a bridge by the Agency. A central challenge was to move away from the forks, where the roadway spills into “a fairly elaborate crossroads” with the New Jersey Turnpike and other important local roads, what Blackmore calls “a large plate of spaghetti on the Jersey side.” He said, “We had to install a bridge and tie it to the same infrastructure point” while the existing bridge was being maintained. “The design construction team invented a progressive possibility.” However, lingering concerns about seniority and safety conditions on the existing bridge led the Port Authority to launch a new environmental study in 2003 to assess options for improving the Goethal Bridge to modernize the bridge, improve customer service, provide additional capacity for transit options, and improve safety and reliability. This study showed that the construction of a new and improved replacement bridge would be less costly than continuing to rehabilitate and maintain the older span and would be better suited to the outdated design of the bridge. To satisfy them, the public-private partnership and design construction joint venture, which oversaw the dual-cable bridge, failed because of a consistent management approach that brought its conclusions: what it calls the “task-force environment,” which led large team players to tackle major and small problems. Contractors and designers looked at when they were acquiring permits and how to buy materials and define the timing of the 900-foot main range and its approaches, says Tom Spoth, vice president and head of national bridge practice at Parsons, the leading design company. The process paid off: the Goethals Bridge Replacement not only won the ENR New York Best Projects Award in the Highway/Bridge category and the Excellence in Safety Award, but was also unanimously elected by ENR New York`s 2018 Project of the Year jury.

The project is being implemented in a public-private partnership (P3) between the Port Authority and NYNJ Link LLC, a partnership between Macquarie Capital and Kiewit. As part of this construction, construction, financing and maintenance (DBFM) concession, NYNJ Link will build the new bridge and then maintain the operation and capital over a 35-year operational period after the substantial completion of the project.

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