On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a $766.5 million Capital Investment Grant (CIG) agreement with New Jersey Transit Corporation (New Jersey Transit) to (finally!) replace the decrepit, unreliable Portal North Bridge in Hudson County, New Jersey.
The Portal North Bridge Project will restore the reliability of commuter rail service between New Jersey and New York by increasing capacity and reducing bridge maintenance expenses of the 100-year old bridge. This will, in turn, help revitalize economies all along the Northeast Corridor, while making them more resilient through better connectivity.
“This $766.5 million federal grant agreement will greatly improve the reliability of commuter rail and Amtrak service for thousands of passengers traveling through the Northeast Corridor, one of the busiest rail lines in the nation,” said (now former) U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
New Jersey Transit will construct a new, two-track fixed structure railroad bridge across the Hackensack River in Hudson County, New Jersey, along the Northeast Corridor to replace the aging bridge.
“FTA is proud to support the construction of a new railroad bridge which provides a vital link for rail passengers traveling between New Jersey and New York,” said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “The project reflects our collaboration with New Jersey Transit to increase transit service capacity and support continued economic development.”
Williams added that “this federal investment…creates jobs and helps communities continue to recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
The total project cost is $1.888 billion, with $766.5 million in funding committed through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. FTA’s CIG program provides funding for major transit infrastructure projects nationwide. Projects accepted into the CIG program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
There are additional inter-city rail activities in proximity to the CIG project that will be funded by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.
With this announcement, FTA has advanced funding for 41 new CIG projects throughout the nation under this Administration since January 20, 2017, totaling approximately $10.7 billion in funding commitments.
Image courtesy of Amtrak.