Portal Bridge replacement project advances with federal funds
The Federal Railroad Administration has come up with $91.5 million for projects including the replacement of the Northeast Corridor Portal Bridge, according to members of the New Jersey congressional delegation.
Of that, $55 million will go toward the federal cost share for the Portal Bridge project. NJ Transit was awarded $36.4 million to reconstruct electrical substation 41 in Kearny, which supplies power to a stretch of the Northeast Corridor and existing Hudson rail tunnels leading into New York Penn Station.
“This federal funding keeps Gateway moving forward and makes needed upgrades along the busy Northeast Corridor to provide commuters a safer, more reliable and more resilient transit system, said Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee.
The priority rating for the project was upgraded in February, positioning the construction work in line for the federal funding that would allow it to begin.
The 110-year-old bridge carries about 450 NJ Transit and Amtrak trains daily. but breaks down frequently, getting stuck in the up position. The new bridge will be higher and will not have to open for marine traffic.
Rep. Albio Sires has previously said that when the existing bridge gets stuck, two workmen with sledgehammers have to set the bridge back into place.
Menendez successfully restricted marine traffic from traveling on the Hackensack River during the morning and afternoon commute, eliminating the need for the bridge to open.
During his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy called the funding a "huge win for our state, for our commuters, and for the future of our economy. And quite frankly, given the economic power of the Northeast Corridor, it's a win for our entire nation."
Murphy also thanked the Trump administration for "coming down on the right side for our state and our future. Now, let's keep moving forward and building the new portal bridge."
Ground was broken on the project in 2017.
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