New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Praises ILA At Maher Terminals Ceremony

Governor Christie Announces Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” Ahead of Schedule and Cites Contribution of ILA as Vital to Success of Project

Span’s Height Will Accommodate World’s Largest Container Vessels by June 30

PORT NEWARK – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was surrounded by scores of ILA members today at Maher Terminals to praise the ILA and other port industry stakeholders for their contributions to raise the Bayonne Bridge. With the Bayonne Bridge clearly in site in the distance, Gov. Christie today announced that as of June 30, the $1.6 billion raising of the Bayonne Bridge roadway will allow the world’s ultra-large, environmentally friendly container vessels to pass beneath the span, gaining access to the Ports of Newark, Elizabeth, and Staten Island.

Gov. Christie personally thanked ILA President Harold Daggett and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Knott for the union’s contribution to the success of this major infrastructure project.

Governor Christie, who joined ILA, New York Shipping Association, Maher Executives and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey a at Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, said the existing lower roadway of the bridge, which had prevented larger ships from entering the East Coast’s busiest port terminals after passing through the recently widened Panama or Suez Canals will be removed six months ahead of its recently revised year-end schedule.

“The ‘Raise the Roadway’ project is a true game-changer for the port, one of the state’s and this region’s most significant job creators, employing 336,000 people and generating billions of dollars in economic activity,” said Governor Christie. “With the lifting of the bridge’s navigational restrictions, we expect these numbers to continue to grow and shipping lines to begin to send their larger ships to this port. As a result more businesses will seek to locate in the port area to create jobs, especially in the skilled trades while garnering the benefits being close to the port can bring. These businesses already generate nearly $53.5 billion in economic activity.”

Scores of ILA members surrounded Gov. Christie as he spoke at Maher Terminals. In addition to President Daggett and Secretary-Treasurer Knott, other ILA officers present included David Cicalese, President, Local 1 and an Atlantic Coast District Vice President; John Daggett, ILA Local 1804-1 Port of Discovery and an ACD Vice President; and Peter Clark, ILA Local 1804-1 Business Agent.