N.J. Transit, Amtrak Agree on Portal Bridge Plan

An artist drawing of what the new Portal Bridge will look like upon completion

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit have reached an agreement to begin construction of a new Portal Bridge in early 2021.

The two will solicit bids from construction companies late this year or early next year.

The bridge spans the Hackensack River and is 110 years old. The swing span structure has been a frequent source of delay to trains on the Northeast Corridor due it malfunctioning.

The bridge opens to allow marine traffic to pass, which delays Amtrak and NJ Transit trains.

But delays also have occurred when the bridge became stuck in the open position because it fails to lock into place.

Amtrak owns the bridge, which is located between Kearny and Secaucus, New Jersey.

The U.S. Coast Guard has sought to minimize delays by imposing periods when the bridge may not be opened for marine traffic during heavy train travel periods.

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