Sweeney: NJ Transit and Amtrak Train Cancellations Caused by Portal Bridge Malfunction Shows Need for Gateway Funding

Sweeney Woolwich

TRENTON – New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement today after a malfunction on the Portal Bridge caused a wave of morning rush-hour cancellations and delays on NJ Transit and Amtrak:

“For New Jersey Transit and Amtrak riders, this morning’s commute was a nightmare because the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River got stuck once again, forcing numerous cancellations and delays. The Portal Bridge is an obsolete swing bridge that is the worst chokepoint for rail service on the Northeast Corridor Line heading from New Jersey into New York, and it needs to be replaced as the first stage in the Gateway Project,

“We already put up our 50% local share of funding to replace the Portal Bridge, but the $900 million that Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen put in the federal budget for the Portal Bridge project is being held up by opposition from the White House and some Republican congressional leaders.

“Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and both Democratic and Republican members of the New Jersey and New York House delegations are fighting hard for this funding, and we fully support their efforts. The Senate passed a bipartisan resolution urging that funding be expedited for the Gateway project, including both the Portal Bridge and the desperately needed construction of new rail tunnels under the Hudson. There is no more important project to the economy of our region and the nation.”