6. The largest cargo container vessel to come through the Port of New York and New Jersey necessitated the raising of Bayonne Bridge
On September 7th, 2019, at the APM Terminal in Elizabeth, the 14,414 TEU CMA CGM T. Roosevelt — the largest cargo container vessel to ever come through the Port of New York and New Jersey — made its maiden voyage to Port Newark under the Bayonne Bridge. At 12,028 feet tall, the T. Roosevelt is four times larger than the Statue of Liberty and is four football fields in length. This monumental moment marked the completion of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which forever altered the Port of Newark’s shipping capabilities.
The Project involved the raising of the Bayonne Bridge’s clearance capacity from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing for the accommodation of 18,000 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units used to measure the capacity of container ships). Prior to the rising of the bridge, only ships with a capacity of 9,800 TEUs or less were capable of passing through the port terminals of Elizabeth, Newark, and Staten Island. The raising of the bridge became necessary following the completion of the $5.2 billion 2016 Panama Canal expansion, which involved the addition of a third set of locks. Had expansions not been made to the bridge, the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal risked the loss of a significant amount of their shipping business to other ports along the East Coast.