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Federal budget cuts, brought on by Republican pressure to slash spending, have ended efforts to replace the Goethals Bridge connecting New Jersey to Staten Island.The New York Post reports the $500 million in federal loan guarantees applied for by the Port Authority last year are not in the 2012 federal budget.
The funds were necessary for getting the $1.5 billion project underway and replacing the 83-year old bridge currently in
place.If the loan guarantees are not placed in the budget, the 2017 anticipated completion date will likely be missed and the 71,200 daily drivers who use the 7,109-foot span, which links Staten Island and Elizabeth, NJ, will suffer backups and narrow lanes for years longer.
“The budget getting squeezed makes projects like this hard to justify,” a source said. The Goethals, which opened in 1928, has less than 10 years left in its lifespan. While its four narrow eastbound and westbound lanes (two in each direction) and lack of a shoulder fail to meet today’s highway standards, the nearly decade of use left in the span makes it a non-emergency situation.
Port Authority executives are making a new bid for financing under the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act.
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