• 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

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  by MaRoFu
 
This is priceless.

Someone started a $920 million GoFundMe page for the Portal Bridge.
Really shows how desperate and frustrated commuters are getting at this point.

https://www.gofundme.com/replace-the-portal-bridge
  by EuroStar
 
As nobody as posted this yet, NJT reports that all the preliminary work awarded under a grant from the Obama administration is complete https://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet ... SE_ID=3273. A fair quote:
Funding for this early works project was provided through a $16 million TIGER grant awarded in September 2016 to NJ TRANSIT, along with a local match contribution of $4 million provided by New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).
The five elements of the project included:
- Installation of new fiber optic poles to carry fiber optic cable lines which help provide data communications and transmission services to New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area.
- Construction of a utility protection structure to protect a century-old cast iron water main that supplies water to Jersey City.
- Construction of a finger pier to support future construction activities.
- Erecting two new high voltage transmission poles which carry the high voltage (138kV) power lines that power trains along this section of the Northeast Corridor.
- Construction of a retaining wall just west of Secaucus Junction that will support the new bridge alignment.
If only our political system made sense and had found the money already, so that work could go uninterrupted.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
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.
  by Defiant
 
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?
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
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.
  by mackdave
 
Sludge barges from the Little Ferry sewage treatment plant
  by Ken W2KB
 
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. “
  by TSTII
 
Not surprisingly, the politician is being misleading, pandering to the public
Menendez ? Really ? That's hard to believe :P
  by russellsal8
 
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?
  by Yankees1
 
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
  by JamesRR
 
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.
  by EuroStar
 
NJTransit is moving ahead with acquisitions of parcels for the bridge. From NJT's March 13th Board Meeting Agenda:
1903-13 NJ TRANSIT – PORTAL NORTH BRIDGE PROJECT: REAL ESTATE ACQUISITION – Authorization to take any and all actions to acquire Parcels 133 and 207 in accordance with the Eminent Domain Law of 1971, not to exceed an amount as discussed in Executive Session, subject to the availability of funds.
Authorization to file complaints in condemnation and file and record a declaration of taking, where necessary, to acquire Parcels 117, 125, 126, 127, and 209 or other parcels for the Portal North Bridge Project and deposit the estimated just compensation with the Clerk of the Superior Court.
I wonder whether they will actually complete the acquisitions given that the Feds again declined to give money for the project just this week.
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