Recent multimillion-dollar investments in port and harbor projects from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have stemmed from record growth in cargo volume last year, agency officials said in prepared remarks.
While most major U.S. ports cited stagnant or declined cargo volumes in 2011, the region reported a 4 percent increase in loaded imports, to nearly 1.6 million, and a 6.6 percent increase in loaded exports, to about 918,000, from 2010 — surpassing its previous records from 2007.
"These records demonstrate that despite these challenging economic times, our commitment to establishing stronger trade relations, retaining and attracting the highest-quality operators and investing in state-of-the-art facilities with the latest technology is working," David Samson, the bistate agency's chairman, said in the announcement.
In December, the Port Authority's board authorized projects that reflect expected growth, including $39 million to reconstruct the pier, culvert and surrounding street section at Port Newark. It's also spending $1 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge roadway to accommodate larger vessels, expected to frequent the region once the Panama Canal's planned expansion is complete in 2014.