NJT Board Members: Wake Up!

Portal North Bridge Is Out of Money Already!

Stop the presses, NJ Transit Board members, please wake up! The $1.56 billion Portal North Bridge construction contract you approved unanimously at a special meeting last Oct. 12 is a whopping $340 million (28%) over the $1.22 billion contract cost in the PNB Project capital budget! The entire Project Capital Cost is now higher than any amount anticipated by either NJT or the Federal Transit Administration, $32 million over the $1.96 billion identified as the worst case imaginable for which 20% cost overrun funds were identified. In effect, the PNB Project capital budget is out of money before the first spade is turned.

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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.