Sunday, April 10, 2011

NJ Transit gets $38.5M in funding towards New Portal Bridge reports that "NJ Transit will get $38.5 million in federal stimulus dollars toward work on the 100-year-old Portal Bridge that crosses the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus"

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars from the U.S. Department of Transportation will fund the final design on a project to replace the Portal Bridge, which is a crucial link for North Jersey commuters who use Amtrak or take NJ Transit into New York.

The movable bridge, which swings open to allow ships to pass, would be replaced with a high-level fixed bridge, removing a bottleneck often blamed for delays on Amtrak and NJ Transit. The final design phase is expected to be done in roughly 18 months, after which construction on the fixed bridge can begin, he said.

The funding announcement comes a week after Governor Christie told U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that he supports an Amtrak application for $1.3 billion in federal funding to construct a new Portal Bridge. Christie told LaHood he is authorizing a $150 million contribution from New Jersey toward the project, the letter said.

Lautenberg called the Portal Bridge 'a major chokepoint for thousands of commuters every day and an obstacle in the way of our efforts to improve regional rail transportation.'"

$1.3 billion for a new bridge, that sounds like a lot of money for one bridge. I know that bridge and it is ancient. All traffic coming from the South of NYC or going South from NYC has to use that bridge. It needs an upgrade badly and I am happy to see the project to replace is moving forward.


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