The Portal North Bridge project is finally moving forward. On Monday, President Joe Biden, Gov. Phil Murphy and federal, state and local officials were on hand to break ground on the project, which has been on hold after many years of delays.
Part of the larger Gateway Program, the Portal North Bridge will greatly reduce gridlock caused by operation and maintenance issues of the existing 110-year-old swing bridge. It will also improve service, reliability and capacity for rail travel between New Jersey and New York City.
“Gov. Murphy, so many of the national challenges we are confronting are areas where you are already leading. The infrastructure bill is about rebuilding the arteries of America, and the Portal Bridge Project is showing why investments like this are so important,” Biden said. “When the Portal Bridge was built, it was state-of-the-art, and it was, 110 years ago.”
The project is the culmination of years of hard work, planning and collaborative effort by the Murphy administration, the Biden administration, New Jersey’s Congressional members and other key partners.
“Today is a great day for New Jersey and the entirety of the Northeast Corridor,” Murphy said. “The Portal North Bridge is the beginning of the largest critical infrastructure project in our nation, and, with President Biden’s leadership, we are embarking on the path to completion of the Gateway Program.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he prioritized directing billions to U.S. Department of Transportation grant programs to fund the construction of Portal North Bridge, the Hudson Tunnels and the rest of the Gateway program and, once the infrastructure bill is enacted, there will be enough money to fully fund these projects.
The Portal North Bridge project spans 2.44 miles of the Northeast Corridor line and includes construction of retaining walls, deep foundations, concrete piers, structural steel bridge spans, rail systems, demolition of the existing bridge and related incidental works. Construction is anticipated to take approximately five and a half years.