Governor Phil Murphy, alongside Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Congressman Tom Malinowski, and Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia, today celebrated the finalization of the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to construct a new Portal North Bridge. NJ TRANSIT CEO and President Kevin Corbett executed the agreement with the FTA today, which will provide $766.5 million dollars in federal funding for the Portal North Bridge.
The new Portal North Bridge, a $1.8 billion project, is fully designed and fully permitted, having received a Record-of-Decision from the Federal Railroad Administration in 2013, which was adopted by the FTA in August 2017. NJ TRANSIT also announced that it has released an Invitation for Bid (IFB) on the project to build a new higher, fixed span across the Hackensack River in Kearny. The current 110-year old Portal Bridge has long been a source of major service disruptions for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak customers traveling on the Northeast Corridor.
NJ TRANSIT, with the assistance of Amtrak, will construct, operate, and maintain a new Portal North Bridge and 2.44 miles of related railroad infrastructure. The project will address critical issues that have long plagued the Portal Bridge and provide the following benefits to the busiest section of railroad in North America by:
- Eliminating the moveable span;
- Improving reliability;
- Increasing train speeds; and
- Removing conflicts with maritime traffic.
The replacement, which will be preliminarily owned by NJ TRANSIT and maintained by Amtrak, is designed as a high-level, fixed span bridge that will allow marine traffic to pass underneath without interrupting rail traffic. Once full construction begins, the remainder of the Portal North Bridge Project is estimated to take approximately five years.
To help fund the project, the FTA will provide $766.5 million through the Section 5309 Capital Investment Grants Program and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will provide $57.1 million through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. The remainder will be allocated by New Jersey’s local share of $811 million and Amtrak’s obligation of $261.5 million. The FFGA also includes financing for 25 new multilevel rail cars to further increase capacity. The rail cars are options on NJ TRANSIT’s existing order of 113 new multilevel cars.
-via Press Release