Agency seeks private investors to build bridge

(AP) - Private investors are being sought tobuild a replacement bridge between New Jersey and New York.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would then leasethe privately owned Goethals Bridge from the investor to retaincontrol of the tolls and operations.

The agency is taking the unprecedented step because revenueshave fallen sharply during the recession and its debt limit isdetermined by revenues. Spokesman Steve Sigmund says the PortAuthority can't issue bonds to pay the estimated $755 million costof a new bridge.

The 82-year-old span, which links Elizabeth with Staten Island,has two lines in each direction with no shoulder.

Preliminary plans for the new bridge call for three lanes ineach direction with a right-of-way in the middle that couldaccommodate a light or heavy rail line in the future.

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