NJ Transit Revises Financial Plan for Portal North Bridge

Julie Daurio, NJTV News | September 16, 2019 | Transportation
Agency hopes new plan, which implements suggestions and requests from Trump administration, will get the go-ahead from feds

What needs to be replaced: the old Portal Bridge
New Jersey Transit says it has submitted a new financial plan for the Portal North Bridge replacement, one it’s hoping the feds approve.

The agency says its revised plan reflects feedback from the Trump administration, which requested the transportation agency put up more money to pay for the project and account for potential cost overruns.

Amtrak has also committed an additional $55 million from passenger revenues to pay for construction, and the two agencies say they’ve identified dedicated funding sources for the project, though they do not specify what those sources are.

Portal North, a 109-year-old swing bridge spanning the Hackensack River, is a frequent cause of delays for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains on the Northeast Corridor. The cost of a new bridge is estimated at $1.5 billion and construction is anticipated to take five years.

NJ Transit has already committed $600 million to the project and is seeking approximately $811 million in federal dollars.

But so far, the Trump administration has not been on board.

In March, the administration graded the Gateway tunnel project, which includes a new portal bridge, as a “medium-low” priority.