Great find EuroStar! Also, thanks for resurrecting this thread.
It's interesting that they're calling for a three track bridge. Coupled with extending three tracks from Broad Street Station to where it again becomes three tracks (somewhere in Harrison), this project should greatly increase capacity and decrease bottlenecks. I can't imagine how they'll accomplish the project, given the area constraints. Is there enough room to build a bridge to the south and adjust the track alignment? I suspect that would come at massive cost, due to Newark downtown land prices, and the grade of the area requiring a viaduct to bridge the above grade Newark Broad Street station and the drawbridge.
The Passaic River does have boat traffic potential above RT 280:
#387 Linde-Griffith Construction Company Wharf - not in use
#386 Passaic River Terminals - 150,000 tons tons transported 1996-2006
(Formerly W.A.S. Terminals Wharf)
#385 Napp-Grecco Wharf - not in use
#384 Q Facility Petroleum Wharf - not in use
#383 Lionetti Oil Recovery Services Company Wharf #382 Riverbank Petroleum Company Wharf - 2,500 tons transported 1996-2006
I'm not sure how active these industries are in 2017, or if they're still using the river for distribution. Here is the source doc, last revised in 2010:
http://passaic.sharepointspace.com/Publ ... alysis.pdf
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Later on in the document they describe use post 2006. I don't have time to sum it up, but there are deliveries, even if it's use is fairly light. I'd imagine as long as there is still one customer to serve, they won't let a "lesser" bridge be built. Perhaps that will go into this project - a request to build a fixed bridge at a certain height, and reclassify that portion of the river. Doing so would also help for the eventual replacement of the Stickel bridge, which went through a major rehab but will eventually (decades more) need replacement.
Now we just need plans for three tracks from Millburn to Summit, double tracking and catenary from MSU to Denville, expansion of Port Morris yard, the entire Gateway project completed and system expansion to Delaware Water Gap.