Improving Truck Access to Staten Island’s Global Container Terminal at Howland Hook

About

Progress

Benefits


About

The Port Authority of NY & NJ is undertaking a new project to improve truck access to the Howland Hook Marine Terminal located in northwestern Staten Island, New York. The agency, in coordination with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), is proposing modifications to I-278, the Staten Island Expressway, on the eastern side of the Goethals Bridge in Staten Island. The purpose of the proposed modifications is to improve local access.

Currently, trucks entering the facility from the Goethals Bridge must exit at Forest Avenue (Exit 4 off I-278), negotiate two consecutive left turns including one signalized intersection, and continue west along Goethals Road North through another signalized intersection to reach the HHMT. Trucks exiting Howland Hook turn right onto Gulf Avenue, and, if seeking to access I-278, either proceed onto a ramp merging with I-278 East or turn left at the same three intersections as the inbound HHMT traffic, and then merge onto I-278 West to cross the Goethals Bridge to New Jersey.

Multiple analyses by the Port Authority and others have pointed to the potential benefits of modifying this current routing pattern to support more efficient terminal operations, as well as reducing congestion and community impacts, and enhancing the margin of safety on the affected local streets. Plans and environmental reviews for the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project noted the potential for this access improvement as a separate but complementary project. The proposed access improvement would be implemented as a connection for I-278 traffic using the replacement Goethals Bridge.

This initiative addresses a longstanding goal identified by multiple agencies, the terminal operator, and local officials: to provide more efficient connectivity between the Goethals Bridge and HHMT, while improving local traffic conditions. Local input in support of the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project included encouragement to proceed with this initiative as a further enhancement to local traffic conditions. As the local project sponsor, the Port Authority is working closely with NYSDOT, involved agencies of the City of New York, and local stakeholders to develop a proposed improvement with consideration of evolving transportation and development initiatives in the area. The project is subject to federal, New York State, and City approvals that are providing a framework for coordinated intergovernmental planning and review.

The Port Authority has retained a consultant team to conduct a formal review of the HHMT Access Improvements Project to evaluate concepts for interchange improvements in detail consistent with State and federal transportation planning requirements. This effort includes review of various options for a new access ramp, development of a Conceptual Design, a detailed traffic analysis to comply with Federal Highway Administration interstate access modification requirements, and creation of the documentation required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.

For more information contact: Chris Lee, PANYNJ Government and Community Relations:

Email: Cmlee@panynj.gov
Telephone: 212-435-6929

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Progress

The proposed project is currently in the Conceptual Design and Related Environmental Services phase. This phase began in early Fall 2014, anticipating completion in 18 months As the project involves an Interstate highway, the alternatives development and environmental review is being conducted in conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and the Federal Highway Administration’s implementing regulations.

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Benefits

The Howland Hook Roadway Access Improvements Project is needed to improve access to and from the Howland Hook Marine Terminal (HHMT).  The HHMT is an important international port facility in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, allowing for the transfer of cargo between marine vessels and trucks or trains.  At present, vehicles accessing the terminal from New Jersey use Interchange 4 on I-278 in Staten Island.  To reach the terminal’s entry gate, vehicles must negotiate two consecutive left turns, including one signalized intersection, and continue west along Goethals Road North through another signalized intersection.  Traffic bound from the Terminal to New Jersey must travel through the same three intersections to reach westbound I-278 from Goethals Road North.  Furthermore, the Port Authority anticipates continued growth at the port, resulting in a large increase in vehicles, particularly heavy-duty trucks, using Interchange 4 and the adjacent local streets.

The purpose of the Howland Hook Roadway Access Improvements Project is to improve local roadway access between I-278 and the HHMT. The objectives of the project are to:

  1. Reduce traffic on local streets;                                                  
  2. Reduce travel times between I-278 and the terminal;
  3. Provide highway infrastructure that safely accommodates trucks; and
  4. Design highway infrastructure with consideration for potential future plans for the area.

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