Portal Bridge Clears Key Hurdle To Replacement

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Rep. Sherrill Speaks on the Importance of the Portal Bridge Project at Secaucus in August 2019.

The Meadowlands bridge that has been a thorn in the side of many Verona rail commuters has cleared a key hurdle to replacement.

On Monday, the Federal Transit Administration raised the rating on the bridge to medium-high, which makes the replacement project eligible for federal funding. Congress, as well as the governments of New York and New Jersey, have already approved funding for the project but the Trump administration has blocked the release of the federal funding. The Hackensack River bridge, which was completed in 1910, often fails to close after being opened to let river traffic pass underneath, causing commuter delays.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ11), who represents Verona in Congress, hailed the news this morning.

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“The 110-year-old Portal Bridge is a chokepoint in our region’s aging transportation network,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Along with my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, I have been relentlessly focused on moving forward on the replacement project for Portal, a critical component of the Gateway Tunnel Project. I’m glad to see the Department of Transportation recognizes the financial commitment of New Jersey to this project and has changed its rating to reflect the urgency of this project and ensure progress toward getting shovels in the ground. Our commuters, businesses, and residents in North Jersey have waited a long time for this announcement.”

The Portal Bridge is a key part of the Gateway Tunnel Project, the expansion and renovation of the rail tunnel under the Hudson River. This project has also been blocked by the Trump administration.

Rep. Sherrill campaigned for Congress in 2018 on replacing the tunnel and the bridge. Last May, she brought Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio to tour both to highlight the region’s infrastructure needs. In August, she joined with the New Jersey Delegation in Secaucus to demand action on the Portal Bridge.

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