NJT Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement


Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement

The Portal Bridge is a nearly 100-year-old, two-track, moveable swing-span rail bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey between the cities of Kearny and Secaucus. Built by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Portal Bridge commenced operation in 1910 providing direct service between Newark Pennsylvania Station and the newly constructed Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Today, four of NJ Transit’s rail lines (393 trains each weekday in both directions) utilize the Portal Bridge. Amtrak operates 103 scheduled trains in both directions over this segment of the Northeast Corridor.
The alternative chosen for Portal Bridge Replacement.

The century-old structure is nearing the end of its economic life and has insufficient capacity to accommodate future transportation needs. In addition to heavy usage by NJ Transit and Amtrak, the Hackensack River crossing must also be opened to allow most marine traffic to pass. The NJ Transit Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement project evaluated alternatives including replacement, rehabilitation or modification of the existing bridge along with the construction of an additional bridge for added capacity to meet demand projections anticipated in 2030. This evaluation was necessary to improve existing Amtrak and NJ Transit rail operations and allow for planned future infrastructure improvements to support regional growth and mobility.

Goals of the project included:
● Enhance capacity to meet current and future demand including new service along the Northeast Corridor;
● Improve service reliability and operational flexibility;
● Provide a redundant Hackensack River crossing to facilitate maintenance and enhance passenger safety and security;
● Minimize conflicts with maritime traffic;
● Optimize existing infrastructure and planned improvements; and
● Minimize impacts on the surrounding environment.

New Jersey Transit
Kearny, New Jersey

Tri-venture between Gannett Fleming, HNTB, and Jacobs

Project Value:
$1.65 Billion

Contract Value:
$1.9 Million

Project Period:
2008 – 2014

Contact Information:
Richard Hoar
Tel: (868) 624-8136

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