Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Coast Guard’

Amtrak Wants Lift Bridge Closed

August 18, 2020

Amtrak a lift bridge near Newark Penn Station to be permanently closed.

The 85-year old bridge sometimes fails to close and thus delays Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and PATH trains.

The intercity rail passenger carrier has asked the U.S. Coast Guard to permanently close the six-track, twin-span bridge built in 1935.

The Amtrak petition cited a limited number of requests to open the bridge over the past five years.

The bridge, Amtrak said, is rarely opened for marine traffic, malfunctions during required tests have caused more than 37 hours of Amtrak delays during that five-year period.

The Coast Guard has indicated it will take up to six months to determine whether to grant the permit.

Portal Bridge Rules to Become Permanent

February 22, 2020

The U.S. Coast Guard will make permanent next month a practice of keeping the Portal Bridge on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor closed during rush hour.

The 110-year-old structure over the Hackensack River in New Jersey has been prone to malfunctions after being opened for marine traffic, which has resulted in delays to Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains.

Last year the Coast Guard began keeping the swing bridge closed between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on an interim basis with limited exceptions.

Replacement of the bridge is a key component of the Gateway Plan that would make other infrastructure improvements including construction of new tunnels under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City.

Portal Bridge to Remain Closed During Rush Hours

October 13, 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to ban opening of the Portal Bridge in New Jersey on the Northeast Corridor during morning and evening rush hours.

The move will lessen the chances that the 110-year-old bridge will be stuck in the open position and delay thousands of commuters.

An average of a train every two minutes crosses the bridge during rush hours. It is used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

Last March the Coast Guard implemented a six-month ban on opening the bridge during rush hours on a trial basis.

Officials said the practice is now permanent after the trial found no delays being reported.

New Jersey officials want to replace the bridge and a $1.5 billion project to do so is part of the Gateway Project that also included other improvements to the Northeast Corridor between New Jersey and New York City.

However, that project has been stalled by political fighting over the federal government share of the funding.

NJ Portal Bridge Won’t Open During Peak Rail Traffic

March 23, 2019

New rules implemented on March 14 by the U.S. Coast Guard will allow the Portal Bridge in New Jersey on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor to remain closed during peak travel hours.

The rules apply between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The change was made to avoid disrupting rail service for thousands of New Jersey Transit commuters and Amtrak passengers.

Amtrak and New Jersey transportation policy makers are seeking to replace the 111-year-old bridge, which spans the Hackensack River and is prone to failures when being opened or closed.

Operators have sometimes been unable to lock the bridge back into place after it has opened.

Replacement of the bridge is projected to cost $1.5 billion, but has been held up by a political fight between the state and federal transportation officials.