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New Jersey Transit's board last week approved an early action contract with PKF-Mark III Inc. for work to support the Portal Bridge replacement project. The $14.5 million contract involves realigning a 138kV transmission pole, installing new fiber optic cable poles and building a steel bridge structure over the Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority's water main.The firm also will build a retaining wall west of the Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction in Secaucus, N.J., along with a construction access structure known as a finger pier. Built more than a century ago, the Portal Bridge is a two-track movable swing span rail bridge over the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus in Hudson County. Owned by Amtrak, the bridge is a key link on the Northeast Corridor.Delays caused by bridge failures have made replacing the structure critical to maintaining and improving passenger-rail service into Manhattan, NJ Transit officials said in a press release. In October 2015, the agency received a $16 million grant through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to support the project.Replacing the bridge also is part of the first phase of Amtrak's Gateway Program to improve rail infrastructure between Newark, N.J. and New York City's Penn Station. Gateway's main component is building a new, two-track rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
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