Journey Lines

THE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR

Portal Bridge Replacement Project

Project Status

Design


Planning

Environmental Review

Design

Construction

Complete

Portal Bridge Replacement Project

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 new bridge will be the first railroad application of a network arch bridge design in North America.

The new bridge will be the first railroad application of a network arch bridge design in North America.

The new bridge will be a high level, fixed-span bridge, to allow passage of marine traffic without interruption of railroad operations.

The new bridge will be a high level, fixed-span bridge, to allow passage of marine traffic without interruption of railroad operations.

When the portal bridge opens for passage of a tug, as shown here, rail traffic on the Northeast Corridor comes to a stop.

When the portal bridge opens for passage of a tug, as shown here, rail traffic on the Northeast Corridor comes to a stop.

The existing portal bridge is a movable swing bridge that has been in operation since 1910.

The existing portal bridge is a movable swing bridge that has been in operation since 1910.

Portal Bridge requires frequent maintenance of its movable parts.

Portal Bridge requires frequent maintenance of its movable parts.

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.

 

Benefits

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

Partners

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