NJT Changes Portal Bridge Plan

New Jersey Transit has announced that there has been a change in the proposed replacement for Portal Bridge, west of Secaucus Station.  Previous plans had called for a fixed span 50′ above water and another 10′ lower, which could be raised for a passing boat.  The new plan calls for two 50′ fixed spans.  NJT says the change is feasible because a thinner structure will allow more height between the water and the bridge, without lengthening the approaches to the bridge.  We remain skeptical, since a 25% increase in the height of the bridge would require either a longer approach or a significantly steeper grade if the approach is not lengthened.