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NJ Transit, Amtrak wrap up early construction of Portal North Bridge replacement

Portal North Bridge, a century-old moveable bridge, will be replaced with a modern span that is less prone to failure.
Photo – Amtrak


New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), in partnership with Amtrak, completed early construction work for the Portal North Bridge replacement program on time and on budget, the transit agency announced late last week in a press release.

The early construction project was funded through a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant and a $4 million contribution from New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund.

The completed work included:

  • installation of new fiber optic poles to carry fiber optic cable lines that help provide data communications and transmission services to New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area;
  • construction of a utility protection structure to protect a century-old cast iron water main that supplies water to Jersey City;
  • construction of a finger pier to support future construction activities;
  • installation of two high voltage transmission poles that carry power lines that power trains along this section of the Northeast Corridor; and
  • construction of a retaining wall west of Secaucus Junction to support the new bridge alignment.

The remaining construction of the 2.3 mile-long bridge project will begin following the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) approval of a funding application that NJ Transit submitted last year. 

"The current Portal Bridge is a frequent source of delays and frustration for our customers," said NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said in a press release. "With the completion of this milestone on time and on budget, we eagerly await the USDOT's approval of our funding application to maintain forward progress on this vital project. We are one step closer to improving the reliability and predictability our customers deserve as they commute to and from work, school and recreation."

The new bridge will increase NJ Transit's capacity by 10 percent and allow trains to move faster and more reliably over the Hackensack River, according to NJ Transit officials. 

In spring 2018, NJ Transit's board approved a financing agreement with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority that provides up to $600 million toward the construction of a new Portal Bridge.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/25/2019