Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Jersey via HSIPR Applies for Money to Replace and Expand the Portal Bridge near Seacacus, a Major NEC Bottleneck

Governor Jon S. Corzine today announced that New Jersey completed its application for federal funding for a project to replace and expand Portal Bridge—a nearly 100-year-old span that carries Northeast Corridor train traffic over the Hackensack River just west of Secaucus. The application is through the federal government’s program to advance high-speed passenger rail service in the United States.

The proposed upgrades will cut trip times between major cities, improve service reliability, extend service to additional communities, and help fulfill President Obama’s vision of making high-speed passenger rail an integral part of America’s transportation system. In New Jersey, replacement of the Portal Bridge will eliminate a major bottleneck and source of delays on the Northeast Corridor that NJ TRANSIT shares with Amtrak, by providing additional capacity and improving reliability. Today, nearly 500 NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak trains—including the high-speed Acela service—use the existing two-track swing bridge. The bridge now operates near capacity during peak periods, carrying 23 trains per hour in the peak direction.

New Jersey is among several Northeast states that applied for funding through the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program. Through the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), the Northeast states worked collaboratively for months to review proposed improvement projects for the Northeast Corridor and its Connectors serving northern New England, Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.


The Coalition of Northeastern Governors is a non-partisan organization that encourages cooperative action on northeast regional issues. The CONEG Governors include: David Paterson of New York, Chairman; Don Carcieri of Rhode Island, Vice-Chair; Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Transportation Lead Governor; M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut; Deval Patrick of Massachusetts; John Baldacci of Maine; John Lynch of New Hampshire; and Jim Douglas of Vermont.


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