The New York-New Jersey Port Authority is taking steps to alleviate delays on the New Jersey Turnpike Extension caused by truckers lining up for the marine port in Bayonne.

Trucks line up inside GCT Bayonne
Trucks line up inside GCT Bayonne (Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers)

Truckers have been lining up early to pick up loads at the GCT Bayonne  (formerly known as the Bayonne Global Marine Terminal), which opens at 6:00 a.m. The Port Authority stationed police officers out front to discourage arrivals earlier than 5:30 a.m. As a result, early trucks were detoured to the Turnpike near the Extension's exit 14 as well as Route 440, causing long delays for commuters.

The Port Authority will crack down further on early arrivals starting this weekend  by setting up barricades and having police issue tickets to truckers lined up on the Turnpike. "We've sent messages to trucking companies ... laying all this out," the Port Authority's Port Commerce Department Rick Larrabee told the Jersey Journal.

New Jersey Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said the delays start early and last well into the morning. "It was taking almost a half hour to go from the Turnpike to 14A," said Williams. "But we weren't sure if it was being caused by the truckers or the closure of the Bayonne Bridge during the day for construction." The bridge was closed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the "Raise the Roadway" project every day during the past week and is scheduled to close again during those hours this coming week.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, however, made it clear in a statement to the Hudson Reporter that the bridge project was not to blame. “This is a traffic advisory to inform you that the traffic delays at Interchange 14A are due to issues at the marine terminal, and are not a result of the Improvement Project,”

The Journal of Commerce says the recent labor dispute on the west coast sent a lot of shipping traffic east as to avoid delays. In addition, the Bayonne port is the only New Jersey portthat can handle larger container ships which cannot yet clear the Bayonne Bridge.

Larrabbe says that truckers who get paid by the load are trying to get an early start to their day. "Despite all the messages that we send out ... there's still a lot of anxiety that (the truckers) need to (pick up as many containers up in one day) as they can, and thus, they line up very early." GCT Bayonne will extend their hours to accommodate the extra volume.


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