Portal North Bridge Receives the Green Light to Proceed

Governor Chris Christie joins Gateway Trustee Rich Bagger, Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Donald Payne Jr to break ground on the replacement of the Portal Bridge, a two-track 110-year-old swing span structure over the Hackensack River in Kearney and Secaucus, known for malfunctioning and causing delays on the busiest-in-the-nation Northeast Corridor in Kearny, N.J. on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

A “Notice to Proceed” has been issued for the new Portal North Bridge project, a part of the Gateway Program aimed at improving capacity and reliability for rail travel between New Jersey and New York City.

The project is being funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, N.J. Transit and Amtrak. In January 2021, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the signing of a Full Funding Grant Agreement which secured $766.5 million in Federal Transit Administration funding to support the project’s construction.

In October, Murphy and N.J. Transit announced the approval of a more than $1.5 billion construction contract awarded to Skanska/Traylor Bros PNB Joint Venture (STJV) for the construction of the new Portal North Bridge. The contract represents the single largest construction award in N.J. Transit’s history.

The Portal North Bridge project spans 2.44 miles of the Northeast Corridor line and includes construction of retaining walls, deep foundations, concrete piers, structural steel bridge spans, rail systems, demolition of the existing bridge, and related incidental works. The Notice to Proceed (NTP) to STJV signifies start of the construction contract which is anticipated to take approximately five and a half years to complete.

The Portal North Bridge project will eliminate the 110-year-old swing bridge which has been the enduring source of major service disruptions for N.J. Transit and Amtrak customers traveling on the Northeast Corridor.

The old Portal North Bridge will be replaced with a new modern two-track, high-level, fixed-span bridge that will improve service and capacity along this section of the Northeast Corridor. The new Portal North Bridge will rise 50-feet over the Hackensack River and will allow marine traffic to pass underneath without interrupting rail traffic.


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