Portal Draw Changes

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Portal Draw Changes

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:40 am

So, Sen. Menendez and the US Coast Guard announced some changes for Portal Bridge to reduce openings during peak hours.

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SECAUCUS, New Jersey (WABC) -- Senator Bob Menendez announced new restrictions on the Hackensack River to ease the stress on the Portal Bridge.

Under the Coast Guard order, all marine traffic on the Hackensack River that requires Amtrak's Portal Bridge in Kearny to open has been halted between 5:00-10:00 a.m. and 3:00-8:00 p.m., with only limited exceptions due to tidal restrictions and with a minimum two hours' notice.

Sen. Menendez made the request with Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Phil Murphy, followed by Amtrak, after two, separate bridge failures on October 30th during the morning and evening commutes.

Those bridge failures creating a commuting nightmare and forced the delay and cancellation of 164 NJ Transit and Amtrak trains, affecting more than 155,000 passengers.


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Obviously this is all temporary, since the real answer is to build the new Portal Draw, but until then, it's a good step in the right direction for the 108-year old structure.
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby Defiant » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:35 pm

Roadgeek Adam wrote:
Obviously this is all temporary, since the real answer is to build the new Portal Draw, but until then, it's a good step in the right direction for the 108-year old structure.


One can only hope but in this country with this President, this "temporary" change is likely to last for years if not decades. Any idea what kind of ships pass through Hackensack river? While in general I am in favor of marine traffic to free up the roads, this an exceptional case. Can whatever these ships are carrying be delivered using freight railroads or trucks?
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:19 pm

Defiant wrote:Any idea what kind of ships pass through Hackensack river? While in general I am in favor of marine traffic to free up the roads, this an exceptional case. Can whatever these ships are carrying be delivered using freight railroads or trucks?
Hess oil barges, but not sure any more. There are other local barge traffic.
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby mackdave » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:45 pm

Sludge barges from the Little Ferry sewage treatment plant
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby Ken W2KB » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:14 am

Not surprisingly, the politician is being misleading, pandering to the public. All that happened is that one hour was added to the existing Coast Guard 4-hour each morning and afternoon restrictions and the existing one hour notice changed to two hours. This will not result in a significant difference. Instead of 6 to 10, being changed to 5 to 10 a.m., etc.

The existing Coast Guard regulation reads as follows:

“(e) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the draw of the Amtrak Portal Bridge, mile 5.0, at Little Snake Hill, need not open for the passage of vessel traffic Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional bridge openings shall be provided for commercial vessels from 6 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 9:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:50 p.m. to 8 p.m., if at least a one-hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge. At all other times the draw shall open on signal. “
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby TSTII » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 pm

Not surprisingly, the politician is being misleading, pandering to the public


Menendez ? Really ? That's hard to believe :P
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby russellsal8 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm

In all seriousness, how much would it cost just to buy out the remaining businesses upstream of the Portal Bridge? I can't imagine that being more expensive than the cost of building a brand new Portal Bridge. Granted, the current Portal Bridge is old and should probably be replaced, but it seems like most of the recent issues have to do the opening and closing of the bridge. If you bought out the businesses and wouldn't need to do that, wouldn't that be better?
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby Yankees1 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:48 pm

russellsal8 wrote:In all seriousness, how much would it cost just to buy out the remaining businesses upstream of the Portal Bridge? I can't imagine that being more expensive than the cost of building a brand new Portal Bridge. Granted, the current Portal Bridge is old and should probably be replaced, but it seems like most of the recent issues have to do the opening and closing of the bridge. If you bought out the businesses and wouldn't need to do that, wouldn't that be better?


Haha I like that idea. The other issue with the Portal is that it's only two tracks, so it's a choke point regardless. It also caught on fire recently and the speed limit going over it is pretty low, so I think it should definitely be replaced
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Re: Portal Draw Changes

Postby JamesRR » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:32 am

russellsal8 wrote:In all seriousness, how much would it cost just to buy out the remaining businesses upstream of the Portal Bridge? I can't imagine that being more expensive than the cost of building a brand new Portal Bridge. Granted, the current Portal Bridge is old and should probably be replaced, but it seems like most of the recent issues have to do the opening and closing of the bridge. If you bought out the businesses and wouldn't need to do that, wouldn't that be better?


The bridge is inadequate beyond that. Requires trains to move at slow speed, its structure has caught fire numerous times. The raising of it is just one improvement over the current structure.
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