Thursday, May 18, 2017

NJ TRANSIT awards $14.5 million early action contract for Portal Bridge Project

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NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors authorized a vote to enter into an early action contract with PKF-Mark III Inc., of Newtown, Pa., for the amount of $14.5 million, plus five percent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds.

NJ TRANSIT says the vote is "another step toward improving service reliability on the Northeast Corridor by moving forward with the Portal Bridge North Project."

"The Board of Directors has chosen to enter into an early action contract with a vendor to help move the Portal Bridge North project to the next milestone,'' said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steven H. Santoro. "This is a critical step forward in improving service reliability for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak customers along the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor.''

The Early Action Construction project includes the realignment of a 138kV transmission pole, the installation of new fiber optic cable poles, the construction of a construction access structure known as a finger pier, the construction of a steel bridge structure over the Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority water main and the construction of a retaining wall just west of the Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction.

The Portal Bridge is a two-track movable swing span railroad bridge over the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus in Hudson County and was constructed more than a century ago. The bridge, owned by Amtrak, is a critical link on the Northeast Corridor. Delays due to bridge failures, maintenance and reduced operational speeds have made replacement of the bridge critical to maintaining and improving passenger rail service into Manhattan.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved a project to both replace the existing bridge and expand capacity in the Corridor by constructing a new parallel span north of the existing structure. The two-track replacement bridge, known as Portal Bridge North, is designed as a high-level fixed span bridge eliminating the movable component and risk of malfunction.

NJ TRANSIT says the project will greatly improve service reliability for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak trains and hopes the Early Action construction phase will support the acceleration of the Portal Bridge North construction schedule. Work is expected to begin in July and is anticipated to be completed by the first-quarter of 2019.