Olton Hall wrote:The plans to replace portal have been around for some time now. They are not final plans but near final. Amtrak doesn't have the money for the replacement project and none are in the immediate future either. The environmental permitting process for a project of this sort would take 10 years minimum to get approval. The Coast Guard has lowered the vertical height requirements for many of the navigable water ways in NJ.
10 years is overstating it a little Olton. We're doing the Goethals Bridge EIS now and construction is scheduled to start in 2008 I believe.
Each Project is different when it comes to EIS. I worked on one project that took 3 years for the EIS and another bridge 4 miles upriver that is expected to take another 8 years to complete the EIS and has been at it for 3 years already. Anything in the Meadowlands has more piles of paper that need to be created that no one will read.
To answer the one question as to why Amtrak has anything to do with Portal replacement. Portal Draw is owned, operated, and maintanied by Amtrak. They've been wanting to replace the bridge since the days of Penn Central RR.
So people know, bridge replacement projects can drag on for years. I worked on one project in 1990. I noticed it went out to bid for construction last month. That got stuck in "historical" issues.