Portal North Bridge West view of the construction site.

Portal North Bridge West view of the construction site. Photo @NJ TRANSIT.

NJ TRANSIT announced construction is officially 50 percent complete on this critical project supporting the Gateway Program and service along the Northeast Corridor.

In August 2022 NJ TRANSIT broke ground on the construction of the new Portal North Bridge. Now, almost two years later, construction has reached 50 percent completion with the first track expected to be open in 2026.

The project is being funded by several stakeholders including the US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Transportation Trust Fund, New Jersey Turnpike Authority ,and Amtrak.

In 2020, researchers at the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) helped NJ TRANSIT secure a chunk of the FRA funding in support of this initiative and other repairs along the NEC.

“Investing in a new and resilient Portal North Bridge will positively impact the traveling public throughout our region and allow the economy to flourish here in New Jersey and nationally,” said CAIT director Dr. Ali Maher. “We are proud to see such great progress in replacing and modernizing this signature infrastructure.”

The existing bridge, which was built more than 100 years ago in 1910, carries more than 450 NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak trains and 200,000 passengers every day over the Hackensack River. This infrastructure is vital to the Northeast Corridor and links the congested territory between Newark, New Jersey and Penn Station, New York.

Due to wear and tear over the years the bridge has become a growing bottleneck in the transportation system, particularly when it must open and close for maritime traffic.

The two-track replacement bridge — Portal North — will provide a higher vertical clearance for maritime traffic, eliminating the need for movable components and risk of malfunction. The new Portal North will also allow for increases in passenger capacity, train speed, and improved service reliability.

Watch a video below from NJ TRANSIT about the construction completed to date. Click here to keep up with the Portal North Bridge Replacement Project.