BAYONNE - Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) emphasized his support today of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's approval of a $1 billion plan to modernize the aging Bayonne Bridge. Click "NEXT" to see Gov. Christie's full speech detailing the bridge's planned makeover.

Ships are getting bigger. In the near future, the 151-foot clearance will be too low for many modern vessels. Adding to the importance of raising the bridge, many new larger ships are expected to use the port after the Panama Canal widening project is completed in 2015. "We must ensure that our ports remain viable tools for economic growth," said Christie in a statement. "By fixing this crucial nexus in the region's transportation network, it will allow our port to remain competitive with others on the East Coast and allow for future cargo growth and expanded commercial opportunities for business." Christie cautioned, however, that any remedy to the Bayonne Bridge issue must be one that is both financially sound and environmentally safe.