More trucks roll through NY, NJ ports after Baltimore bridge collapse

July 4, 2024

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore caused a spike in the number of trucks rolling in and out of New York Harbor’s seaports, according to Port Authority data.

Baltimore’s port closed on March 26 after a cargo vessel struck one of the bridge’s support columns, causing the whole crossing to collapse. Cargo ships were unable to move in or out of the waterway until June 12, when the wreckage was cleared…

Clinton Andrews, director of Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Policy Research, said people closest to the ports are breathing “highly localized” particulate pollution, or unburned carbon that comes out of exhaust pipes and is too heavy to disperse into the atmosphere.

“An important dimension of this potential impact from the increased truck traffic is what you might call a microclimatic impact,” Andrews said. “In other words, more intense pollution levels directly along the streets that are bearing the brunt of the traffic and not much difference further away.”

That means, he said, pollution is staying on local streets where more trucks might drive through. Gaddy noted that thousands of trucks drive through local roads on any given day in Newark.

Increased exposure to particulate matter also increases the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, wheezing and cardiac problems for people with pre-existing conditions. Trucks also emit pollutants like nitrogen dioxide.

A January 2017 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found 1 in 4 children in Newark have asthma, which is three times the average rate of New Jersey as a whole. The EPA also reports asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism for school-aged children in Newark.

The Elizabeth City Council in 2019 passed an ordinance that prohibited vehicles weighing more than four tons from traveling through certain local streets in the town as a means to prevent isolated pollution, but Andrews said the measure is difficult to enforce.

“This is a problem that’s recognized and an enforcement mechanism is in place, and it just needs to be implemented regularly,” Andrews said.

Gothamist, July 4, 2024


Recent Posts

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

How the heat will continue to affect your commute

Clinton J. Andrews, director of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, joins Drive Time with Michael Wallace to discuss how the heat affects transit infrastructure in and around the city.    WCBS AM-NY, July 11, 2024

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]