The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey submitted a request to federal officials that its Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” project be considered for expedited review under President Obama’s executive order on permitting and federal review.

The Port Authority submitted the request on March 23, one day after the executive order was issued, and believes the request to be the first submitted in response to the executive order.

Executive director Patrick Foye said he applauds Obama’s decision during a time when “critical infrastructure projects are vital to job creation and economic activity.”

The project is now undergoing the required Environmental Policy Act review with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The authority has committed $1 billion to the project, which aims to raise the bridge’s roadway between Bayonne, N.J., and Staten Island, N.Y., to 215 feet from 151 feet above the Kill Van Kull to allow larger cargo ships to access New Jersey docks. 

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in early 2013, pending federal and local environmental reviews.

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