• All Things Portal Bridge: Amtrak and NJT Status and Replacement Discussion

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by morris&essex4ever
 
JCGUY wrote:Roughly one billion dollars, design work and permitting done, so it's "shovel ready", four year project, so it's roughly $250mm per year for four years. Gosh, in a 3 trillion annual federal budget or 12 trillion over the 4 years, this is tiny. It would be nice if the local politicians would horse trade to get this fully funded.
This would have been a perfect candidate for stimulus money.
  by afiggatt
 
morris&essex4ever wrote:This would have been a perfect candidate for stimulus money.
The Portal bridge replacement received stimulus funds for the EIS and final design. IIRC, Amtrak used some of its 2009 stimulus for the EIS. Then the project received a $38.5 million HSIPR grant award to carry it through the final design. The FInal Design was completed close to 2 years ago and now the project is stalled waiting for $900 million or so to build the new bridge and elevated segments on either side.

BTW, the north Portal bridge is to be a 2 track fixed span bridge. The 3 track configuration option was dropped back in the early stages of the final design.
  by JCGUY
 
I'd imagine they'd build the new bridge in such a way as not to require taking the existing one out of service during construction. Current Portal, as the sole river crossing, is a nightmare, but if it could be kept as a reliever to the new span pending a new bridge in connection with Gateway, that wouldn't be so bad. Curious as to whether that's a possibility.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
The new span would be constructed immediately adjacent to the old one, so it would be in full service during construction. They are not, in any way shape or form, considering keeping the old one afterwards.

For one, the new span's middle piers may be so close to the old bridge's swing section that the swing may have to be permanently closed by the time they sink those new piers. OK if it stays closed for 2 years of heavy construction--reasonable accommodation could be made for that--but you can't permanently leave a swing that's blocked from opening by the new bridge's piers. They'd have to start dismantling the swing the very second the new bridge opens.

Second, the approaches--especially on the marshy eastern side--aren't going to be wide enough to feed 2 adjacent bridges. It'll be temporary re-aligning to stage for the new span's construction, temporary re-aligning to shift tracks onto the new span, then mop-up work. But the wetlands don't permit side-by-side approach tracks to 2 adjacent spans. Additional track capacity in the form of the second identical "Portal South" bridge from the ARC plan--should that be needed later--would be constructed several hundred feet south of the current ROW because that's the only way to EIS for parallel spans through the swamp.

Third...the thing is just shot. You don't need to keep it "until" Gateway, because until Gateway the North River Tunnels are the capacity limiter. A tall 90 MPH fixed Portal Bridge span is a huge capacity increase over the current one, with none of the reliability issues. There's no need to maintain a 'reliever' span when that extra traffic has nowhere to go. And for the money it would take--had you still needed it--to stretch its safe lifespan another 10 years you can put a fair-sized down payment on advancing Gateway. It would be counterproductive to do anything with the old one.


More bridge capacity is not going to be needed until well after Gateway. Portal South isn't even a direct dependency on Gateway. They can get by with just the lone replacement bridge for a number of years after Gateway opens before Portal South becomes prudent to independently fund. Portal South plays more into the super-duper 2040 HSR plan and those capacity needs than it does projected 2030 growth of existing NEC traffic patterns.
  by Woody
 
morris&essex4ever wrote:This would have been a perfect candidate for stimulus money.
Six years ago it was not designed, permitted, or "shovel ready".
  by morris&essex4ever
 
Do people really view Portal as an iconic structure that needs to be preserved when and if it goes out of service?
  by Gerry6309
 
PLEASE!!!!

Replace it before it gets permanently stuck open, and shuts down the whole corridor!
  by amtrakowitz
 
Woody wrote:Six years ago it was not designed, permitted, or "shovel ready".
The FRA gave a green light back in December 2008. Plenty of designs out there before that.
  by philipmartin
 
The federal government is giving NJT sixteen million to do preliminary work on replacing Portal. Why is NJT building a bridge on someone else's railroad?
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/10/26/ ... placement/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://m.bergendispatch.com/articles/37 ... ction.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by OportRailfan
 
philipmartin wrote:The federal government is giving NJT sixteen million to do preliminary work on replacing Portal. Why is NJT building a bridge on someone else's railroad?
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/10/26/ ... placement/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://m.bergendispatch.com/articles/37 ... ction.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Cuz the Feds sure as S#!t aren't coughing up the money, anytime soon. This should be the work to start on Portal Bridge North.
  by bleet
 
NJT did the engineering designs for the bridge. So why not?
  by time
 
The article says the work will be for "electrical and fiber optic work," which indicates this $16 million is for utility relocation ahead of the larger project.

It's a good thing to get these little pesky items out of the way ahead of time, since they often slow the bigger projects down when done concurrently.
  by EuroStar
 
Any news what brought the single tracking today?
  by EuroStar
 
EuroStar wrote:Any news what brought the single tracking today?
To answer my own question: According to the conductor on my outbound train it was due to a disabled train on or near the bridge. I observed the most unusual operation I have seen for weekday pm peak service yesterday. My outbound coast line train crossed the Hudson on track 2 (the south tube). We were passed by a westbound Amtrak train on track 3 (using the north tube) somewhere between the tunnel exits and Bergen interlocking. We did not get off track 2 till the beginning of the middle track for Secaucus station. I was amazed to not see a line of inbound trains on track 2 at Secaucus waiting for us to free the track. There were no eastbound trains going into NYP to be seen anywhere. I had no idea that there are so few eastbound trains around 5:30pm on a business day that they could use both tunnels outbound.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Site Admin: <Bump> pardon the dust. This should be getting some attention as Gateway moves forward. This thread will pertain to both current operations and replacement.

I'd imagine Portal is probably the most "shovel ready".

NJ.com

SNIPS:
Funding approved for new Hudson rail tunnels. Will tolls go up?
...
The board members approved a resolution that allows the agency to pay debt, principle and interest on federal loans to finance Gateway, Foye said.

The first project to be covered by that agreement is replacing the 106-year-old Portal bridge, which carries the Northeast Corridor line over the Hackensack River in Kearny.

This agreement also provides a framework for financing the entire Gateway Project. It would build two new Hudson River rail tunnels, replace the Portal Bridge, build an annex to Penn Station New York, additional tracks in New Jersey and a loop track at Secaucus to allow four North Jersey NJ Transit lines to have access to New York.

Port Authority and U.S. Department of Transportation officials are currently working on a loan application for the Portal Bridge, Foye said. The cost to replace the bridge with a new two-track bridge is $1.5 billion, he said.
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