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New Jersey Transit last week submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) a revised financial plan for the Portal North Bridge project that identifies additional funding sources to address the federal government's concerns that the project may exceed project costs.
To demonstrate to the FTA that the appropriate funds would be in place for the project, NJ Transit and Amtrak have worked together to identify and commit specific funding sources.
Amtrak committed an additional $55 million from passenger revenue toward project costs, and NJ Transit is seeking $811 million in federal dollars to complete the project, NJ Transit officials said in a press release.
Amtrak’s funds are in addition to the December 2018 agreement between NJ Transit and Amtrak that provided $182 million for projects in New Jersey, including the Portal North Bridge project.
“We are confident NJ Transit has made our application even stronger by addressing the issues raised by the federal government,” said NJ Transit President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Corbett.
NJ Transit officials said the FTA's review of the financial plan should lead to an improved project rating and move it closer to full funding and the start of major construction.
The 108-year-old Portal Bridge is vital to passenger transportation between New Jersey and New York, as well as the entire Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C, and Boston, officials said. Due to its age, design and current condition, the bridge is a single point of failure on the NEC.
The Portal North Bridge project calls for replacing the current bridge with a high-level, fixed span structure that will allow marine traffic to pass underneath without interrupting rail traffic.