Menendez: New Chapter in History of Portal Bridge; First Step in Gateway Project’s Broader Mission

Menendez: New Chapter in History of Portal Bridge; First Step in Gateway Project’s Broader Mission

Menendez, Booker, Christie, Gateway Program partners break ground on start of Portal North Bridge construction

   

KEARNY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee, today celebrated the beginning of construction on the Portal North Bridge in Kearny, a critical component of the Gateway Program – a comprehensive rail investment program designed to add critical resiliency and create new capacity on the 10-mile stretch of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Newark, N.J. and Penn Station New York.  This is the busiest section of railroad in North America, supporting 450 daily and commuter intercity trains and some 200,000 passenger trips.

 

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Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker, Gov. Chris Christie, Congressman Donald Payne (N.J.-10) and the Gateway Program partners broke ground today on $20 million worth of early work activities, funded in part by a $16 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.  The higher clearance, fixed-span Portal North Bridge will permit faster speeds, allow for an increase in NJ TRANSIT train capacity and eliminate a single point of failure on the busiest section of the NEC.

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Built in 1910, the existing Portal Bridge is a two-track moveable swing-span bridge that opens for marine traffic, halting rail service on the NEC. The new bridge will have twice the clearance over the river, eliminating the need for a moveable span, permitting higher speeds and facilitating an increase in capacity.

The Gateway Program also proposes a second, two-track Portal South Bridge and the new trans-Hudson tunnels to support an approximate doubling of rail capacity between Newark and New York.  As a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the transit New Starts program, Sen. Menendez was instrumental in ensuring Gateway’s eligibility for robust federal funding.

CLICK HERE for a factsheet with more information on the project.