Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that the NJ TRANSIT board of directors has approved a contract with Skanska/Traylor Bros Joint Venture for the construction of the new Portal North Bridge. The project, a critical part of the Gateway Program, will eliminate the critical issues caused by operation and maintenance of the existing swing bridge that have long plagued the most heavily transited portion of the Northeast Corridor. The largest award in NJ TRANSIT’s history, this monumental step exemplifies the Murphy Administration’s commitment to funding critical infrastructure and providing investments that will benefit current and future generations of New Jerseyans.
“Few infrastructure projects are as critical to the nation as replacing the aging Portal Bridge,” said Governor Murphy. “With today’s step, NJ TRANSIT is rapidly moving towards beginning the first phase of the largest infrastructure project in the United States. This award will not only bring a bridge that will resolve the long-standing bottlenecks plaguing New Jersey commuters, but will also create well-paying skilled labor jobs in the process. We would not be at this step today without our partners in the Biden Administration, NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, our federal delegation, Amtrak, and the State of New York.”
“The award of this important construction contract is yet another example of NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to advance critical infrastructure projects that will ultimately improve service to our customers,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT board chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “This project will power the region’s economic vitality for generations to come.”
“This construction award, which is the single largest in our agency’s history, is the culmination of more than three years of hard work and determination by NJ TRANSIT and our project partners at Amtrak,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT will soon begin construction on the most important infrastructure project in the nation next to the Hudson Tunnel Project, creating jobs and spurring economic growth for our region, and restoring dependable rail service to the millions of customers who count on this critical rail link between New Jersey and New York every year.”
“A new Portal North Bridge that won’t have to open and close for river traffic is vital to improving safety, speed and reliability in the busiest section of the Northeast Corridor,” said Amtrak board chair Tony Coscia. “Amtrak is pleased to partner with NJ TRANSIT on this important project that will improve the daily lives of riders and put Americans to work.”
The $1,559,993,000 construction contract for the 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. Once construction begins, the construction contract is anticipated to take approximately five and a half years.
The project is being funded by the US Department of Transportation, NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak. In January 2021, Governor 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.
“Today’s announcement is another major milestone after we secured federal funding for the project earlier this year. It represents a critical step towards replacing the century-old Portal Bridge that has been riddled with failures and malfunctions for too long,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. “I appreciate the leadership of Governor Murphy who has been committed to the completion of the Gateway Project throughout his time in office. Together, we will build a new bridge, replace the Hudson tunnels, and move our nation forward.”
“Today marks another important milestone in our fight to provide much-needed relief to New Jersey commuters,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “Replacing the century-old Portal Bridge will help improve the safety and reliability of rail transit for commuters who have long been plagued by delays caused by this aging and unreliable infrastructure. As we continue our work to advance this vital project, we must remain focused on finding long-term solutions to help ensure commuter safety and increase our economic competitiveness through robust infrastructure investment, including completion of the Gateway Program.”
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