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news release

P.O. Box 004
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Jayne O'Connor/Wendi Patella

RELEASE: July 19, 1999

Office of the Governor

Governor Whitman Kicks Off Dredging
Project of Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay

Gov. Christie Whitman today helped launch the second phase of a project to increase the depth of the Kill Van Kull and Newark Bay. Both channels will be dredged to 45 feet.

During the first phase of the channel deepening project, which was completed in 1995, the Army Corps of Engineers deepened the channels from 35 to 40 feet. The second phase will increase the depth to 45 feet by removing approximately 10 million cubic yards of rock and sediment.

"Here in New Jersey, we recognize the value of commercial shipping not only to the industries served but also to the economic development of our state," Gov. Whitman said. "I recognize that in order to succeed in a highly competitive global marketplace, we must complement our skilled and dedicated workforce with competitive facilities."

The $733 million project is expected to be completed in 2004. New Jersey has pledged more than $100 million for the project, with the remainder coming from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and from federal funds.

The Kill Van Kull waterway between Staten Island and Bayonne links the Upper New York Bay and the Newark Bay. It serves major marine terminals in the Port Newark-Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal.

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the premier port on the Eastern seaboard and the third largest in the country. It employs more than 166,000 people, about half of whom are New Jersey residents. The port creates $29 billion in local economic activity each year. More than $13 billion of goods are shipped annually through New Jersey, the nation's 9th largest exporting state.

The number of containers moved through the port is expected to triple by the year 2020 and double again by 2040, adding 170,000 new maritime jobs.

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