FTA Commits to Funding New Portal Bridge

New Jersey officials say they have received notice from the Federal Transit Administration of a commitment to fund nearly half the project to replace the Portal Bridge on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

The bridge over the Hackensack River is used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains alike.

State officials said the engineering phase of the project can now begin and will be fully funded by federal money.

The FTA wrote recently to NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett that the federal agency has elevated the $1.8 billion project to the engineering phase, making it eligible for $766.5 in federal funding. The letter also said NJ Transit must submit a revised financial plan and show it could cover a cost increase or funding shortfall.

New Jersey and Amtrak have agreed to their respective funding shares for the project.

The century-old bridge long has been a traffic chokepoint due to frequent mechanical failures.

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