The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Wednesday it intends to finish raising the Bayonne Bridge six months early, in fall 2015.

That schedule, officials said, will be in time to accommodate large cargo ships expected to travel up to the East Coast after the Panama Canal widens. The bridge, which the authority plans to raise to by 64 feet to 215 feet, connects Bayonne, N.J., to New York City’s Staten Island borough across the Kill Van Kull waterway.

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