The ground has been broken on the Portal North Bridge project in New Jersey, US, signalling the start of work after several years of delays.

The project is being executed under the broader Gateway Programme, which aims to enhance service and capacity for rail travel between New Jersey and New York City.

This project will see the current 110-year-old swing bridge, which has been causing service disruptions for NJ Transit and Amtrak commuters, demolished.

The Portal North Bridge project has obtained funding from the US Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and Amtrak.

In January, the Federal Transit Administration awarded a $766.5m grant to back the project’s construction. NJ Transit then launched the invitation for bid (IFB) for the contract.

In May, NJ Transit selected four bidders and held a pre-bid conference and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise outreach.

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By GlobalData

Last month, two of the pre-qualified bidders submitted their proposals, where Skanska/Traylor Bros Joint Venture emerged as the lowest ‘responsible and responsive’ bidder.

Earlier this month, the board of directors of NJ Transit awarded a $1.56bn contract to Skanska/Traylor Bros Joint Venture for the construction of the bridge.

The Portal North Bridge project stretches 3.92km of the Northeast Corridor line.

The scope of the work encompasses the construction of retaining walls, deep foundations, concrete piers, rail systems, structural steel bridge spans, the demolition of the existing bridge, and other associated incidental works.

Construction is projected to continue for nearly five-and-a-half years.

The new two-track, high-level, fixed-span bridge is expected to enhance service and capacity along this segment of the Northeast Corridor.

This infrastructure will rise 50ft over the Hackensack River and enable marine traffic to sail underneath without disturbing the rail network.