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New Jersey Transit yesterday broke ground on the construction of the Raritan River Bridge replacement project, which will replace the existing 112-year-old swing-span bridge that carries NJ Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line trains over the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy.
The current bridge was damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and, as a result, has recurring maintenance issues. The new bridge will integrate resilient structural designs and materials to withstand future storm surges and be significantly less vulnerable to severe weather events, according to a press release from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
The western alignment will place the new bridge farther from the ocean to improve flood resilience and increase the design speed for trains on the bridge. New mechanical and electrical systems would also provide for more reliable span operations, resulting in reduced maintenance costs. In addition, improved navigation at the lift span is expected to reduce the risk of vessel collision with the bridge’s pier protection systems.
The project is estimated to cost $595 million, with $446 million paid for through a Federal Transit Administration grant.