NEC Projects


Portal Bridge Replacement Project

Project Partners

  • Amtrak
  • US DOT Federal Railroad Administration
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Project Benefits

  • Eliminate movable span
  • Improve reliability
  • Increase train speeds
  • Remove conflicts with maritime traffic

Project Status


Available Funding

$69.5 M

NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak have completed final design and federal environmental review to replace the century-old, swing-span Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey with a new, more reliable, fixed-span bridge. The existing Portal Bridge, which hosts about 450 trains per day traveling between Newark, NJ and Penn Station, New York, is a major bottleneck and source of delay of train traffic; the aging mechanical components sometimes malfunction while opening and closing for maritime traffic. 

The two-track replacement bridge, known as Portal North Bridge, is designed as a high-level, fixed-span bridge, eliminating the movable components and risk of malfunction. The new bridge is estimated to cost approximately $1.5 billion. Partners including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, Amtrak, and U.S. DOT are currently developing a funding and financing plan so that construction can proceed as soon as possible.  The recently completed design process involved a preliminary design phase, for which costs of $31 million were shared between NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, and final design, funded by a Federal Railroad Administration grant of $38.5 million. 

A second, two-track Portal South Bridge span is proposed as part of the Gateway Program and when complete will double train capacity along this critical length of the Northeast Corridor. Planning and design of Portal South Bridge will be finalized following the completion of the federal NEC Future study and environmental review process.