City Journal Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014
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Gabriel Schoenfeld
Raising Bayonne « Back to Story

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Thanks for your comentary Gab. The true word infrustructure has been used in every sentance by the political fronts.. with no true value.. I worked in the perrelli cable plant just below this beautiful bridge.. this plant built the cable for the bridge and was dismantled back in the early eighties.. we have lost the building now but not the memories of when it ment something to bring such a beautiful structure to completion...
The Port Authority will be a billion dollars deeper in debt as a result of this project and there is no serious analysis to show the benefits will match this. Or that such revenues would provide a positive return on the investment. The PANYNJ has no plan to recoup the charges from the ships and shippers who will benefit from the project - ultra-large container vessels which may or may not show up.

A serious analysis of this subject would discuss:

- the alternative of handling such large ships at container wharves of Upper New York Bay (Global Container Services, Military Ocean Terminal, Red Hook etc) outside of Newark Bay and Bayonne Bridge constraints

- demolishing the Bayonne Bridge which has small and declining traffic

- whether Hampton Roads VA, Halifax NS and other ports are really competitive with the ports of the New York area, or whether there is any reason to spend such a vast amount to prevent them from adding marginally to their market share

- whether it makes sense to subsidize with public monies the market shares of various ports rather than operate them commercially and make the ports pay for such projects applying the simple test to such investments of whether users will pay for them

- if the billion dollars is recouped not from port operators but by adding to tolls and fares then people and businesses throughout the area suffer higher costs and competitive disadvantage as a result

PANYNJ is a politically governed conglomerate, an exemplar of crony capitalism in action and you really should sponsor some critical analysis rather waste space on public relations fluff like this.

Peter Samuel, Frederick MD
A less expensive and less environmentally destructive alternative would be to locate the Panamax container port on the Hudson River side of Bayonne. The Hudson River has a naturally deeper draft than the Kill van Kull and Newark Bay. But powerful interests prefer to do it the hard way, i.e. raise the Bayonne Bridge roadway and dredge/blast the Kill van Kull and Newark Bay channels.
Come 2017 show us a completed bridge and a receipt for $1B. Then we'll crow about the bargain and the role of govt, etc, etc, etc.
Compare/contrast with building the third tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan.

Of course we hear conservatives yelling that Chris Christie was a genius for killing that project. But the pay-off there was a positive half-trillion over the next century from increased jobs and property values.

He's getting chuckles with his campaign ads. He blames the Democratic Party budget gal running against him for the 2007 recession. The ad runs several times a day on all the local stations.
Gabriel seems to believe our govt agency will accomplish the task well, AND on time... lol