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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA advances environmental reviews for New Jersey bridge, California high-speed line


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently issued a decision on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement Project over the Hackensack River, between Secaucus and Kearny, N.J.

Prepared in cooperation with Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, the FEIS considered four build alternatives, in addition to a "no action" alternative. The FRA decided to proceed with a three-track fixed northern bridge, two-track moveable southern bridge build on a new alignment, and a track over the grade separation to eliminate crossovers. The $1.3 billion project will take five-and-a-half years to complete.

Owned by Amtrak, the two-track, moveable swing-span Portal Bridge was constructed in 1910 and currently is used by almost 500 trains each weekday. The project will boost capacity, improve service and provide operational flexibility for the bridge, which is a major bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor.

Meanwhile, the FRA also issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS and Environmental Impact Report in conjunction with the California High Speed Rail Authority for the San Francisco-to-San Jose segment of the state's proposed high-speed rail system. The reports call for developing preliminary engineering designs and assessing environmental effects associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the system, including track, ancillary facilities and stations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/2/2009