A major New Jersey bridge project has reached completion as announced by the Port Authority on Feb. 8. For drivers using the Bayonne Bridge to cross between Bayonne and Staten Island, the road capacity of the bridge will double. The $17 billion project has transformed the two-lane bridge into a four-lane bridge. Each lane is 12 feet in width, and the bridge retains shoulders where damaged or disabled vehicles can pull over in an attempt to alleviate traffic jams, Port Authority officials said.

The Port Authority also said that the construction project included additional on- and off-ramps on both the New Jersey and New York sides of the bridge. According to the agency, the 90-year-old bridge was widened by 64 feet, and the bridge is also high enough to allow modern container ships to pass by on the way to major ports in both states. Ships carrying up to 18,000 containers can now safely clear the bridge, something that was not possible prior to the renovation. Local officials celebrated the conclusion of the project, but it was not without controversy.

Because of the importance of the bridge to local transit, the span was not closed during construction. As a result, a great deal of work took place at night, causing loud noises and bright lights to disrupt the lives of nearby residents. Debris and paint chips were a frequent site in homeowners’ yards. During the project, the Port Authority bought new windows and air conditioners for the most affected neighbors.

Major construction projects can be transformative, but they can also be costly and problematic, especially when problems arise over cost overruns or project delays. Companies involved in a project may work with a New Jersey and New York construction law firm to protect their interests while negotiating a contract or to address disputes over performance.