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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Coast Guard to limit New Jersey drawbridge openings during peak travel periods


In response to a joint request by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak, the U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to limit rush hour openings of the Portal Draw Bridge for a second 90-day test period.

Located about six miles west of New York City’s Penn Station and spanning the Hackensack River, the bridge is used by NJ Transit and Amtrak to complete about 155,000 passenger trips daily.

During the next 90 days, the Coast Guard will limit bridge openings between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays to commercial vessels that face tidal conditions or other safety issues.

In March, the Coast Guard began limiting bridge openings for 90 days, which decreased train delays 96 percent compared with the same 2003 period.

If Coast Guard officials receive positive feedback during the second test, they will consider permanently limiting bridge openings during peak travel periods.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/16/2004