Staten Island, NY - TODAY: A group of local elected officials from New York and New Jersey joined together to request that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey proceed with an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) analyzing the potential ways of expanding the Outerbridge Crossing. As any local observer can attest, the limited and outdated capacity of the Outerbridge is no longer able to accommodate the volume of commuters at morning and evening rush hours. The EIS process on an ongoing Goethals Bridge replacement project began in 2003 and culminated with a final project permit issued in 2011, indicating that if a similar timeline is followed, a study process would need to start in the very near future for the final project to be ready by the late 2020s at the earliest.
In his comments, Assemblyman-Elect Ron Castorina said: "The residents of the South Shore of Staten Island, as well as our neighbors in New Jersey, are saddled with some of the worst commute times in the nation. Every extra minute our commuters spend sitting in traffic on Route 440 is precious time they could instead be spending with their families. The Port Authority owes it to our families to begin an Environmental Impact Study as soon as possible and start presenting some feasible solutions to this growing transportation fiasco. My constituents can count on me to build coalitions like the one we've assembled today to bring about real results and accountability."
“The City of Perth Amboy is 4.5 square miles and has direct access to nearly half a dozen major thoroughfares. Perth Amboy is one of the main gateways into the State of New Jersey for commuting New Yorkers. It would be in the best interest of our residents and visitors to have roadway access that accommodates a larger volume of traffic for both safety and convenience,” said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.
Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) said: “I applaud Assemblyman-Elect Castorina for getting down to business so quickly. He’s absolutely right: The Port Authority needs to get to work on an EIS immediately. Staten Islanders don’t have the mass transit options available to other borough residents – expanded capacity on our bridges needs to be a top priority.”
Borough President James Oddo said, "Like the Goethals Bridge, the Outerbridge Crossing is old and obsolete. It is time to start the very long process of exploring the possibilities to expand capacity for residents of the South Shore who rely on it every day."
"The expansion of the Outerbridge Crossing is a large-scale act which advances our goal to reduce commute times for one of the most traffic inundated communities in the country," said Councilman Joe Borelli. "I am pleased to stand with my colleagues from both sides of the bridge and I hope that the Port Authority moves forward in allowing for this important Environmental Impact Study."
City Council Minority Leader Steve Matteo said: "The twinning of the Goethals Bridge, the lift of the Bayonne Bridge, and the deck replacements on the Verrazano Bridge were all steps in a series to improve Staten Island's connections to New York City and New Jersey. Now it is the Outerbridge's turn, and replacing the current crossing with a twin span like the Goethals is the best course of action. This EIS should get funded now."
State Senator Andrew Lanza said, "For 88 years the Outerbridge Crossing has served the Staten Island and Perth Amboy communities as a critical link between New York and New Jersey. However, the time has come to assess the current needs and future demands of the essential connection between our two great states. Drawing from past experience, it is clear that a project of this size and scale takes strategic planning, collaboration and time. As a growing island community, already suffering from notorious commutes and congestion on our roads and crossings, it is critical for us to take the first steps into this process now. I look forward to working with the leadership of the Port Authority and my partners in government to further this vision."
"The profound limitation of the Outerbridge Crossing's capacity is certainly no secret. Almost every Staten Islander and many residents of New Jersey have encountered an exhaustive wait on both sides of the bridge, and increasingly so. For years we've been talking about fair treatment from public agencies like the Port Authority, and this would go a long way in moving towards a new era of providing our communities with the transportation infrastructure we need and deserve," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.