The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced that it will explore the feasibility of widening the Outerbridge Crossing.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port Authority wrote a comprehensive study of rehabilitation options for the bridge, which originally opened for service in June 1928. The new chapter of the study will more thoroughly examine the option of widening the bridge.
“The safety of those who use our facilities is always top of mind, which is why we will move quickly to make sure the Outerbridge Crossing remains in a state of good repair,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “As we work to shore up critical assets, we will continue to explore options to improve our ability to move people and goods across the region.”
“Our 2020 study was intended to be comprehensive, and this added chapter will fulfill that intent and ensure solid analysis of all rehabilitation options,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.
More than 30 million vehicles used the Outerbridge Crossing prior to the pandemic in 2019. The bridge’s main deck is just 62 feet wide and accommodates a total of four travel lanes – two 10-foot-wide lanes in each direction. Today’s lane standard is 12-feet-wide.
To help speed travel across the bridge, the Port Authority in 2019 implemented a new state-of-the-art cashless tolling system that allows vehicles to move at-speed through toll collection zones without stopping at toll booths or merging into toll lanes.