Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FTA issues FONSI for NJ Transit’s Raritan River Bridge replacement project

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FTA issues FONSI for NJ Transit’s Raritan River Bridge replacement project NJ Transit

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on Oct. 13 for New Jersey Transit's Raritan River Bridge Replacement project.

The issuance of the FONSI is a milestone as NJ Transit moves forward to make its infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather following the devastating impacts of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The project will replace the existing swing bridge that carries NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) trains over the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy. The original bridge, built in 1907, suffered structural damage during Superstorm Sandy with service suspended for three weeks while the structure was repositioned and the tracks reset to support operations. The bridge serves as the sole rail link for 17 of the 20 stations on the NJCL to the major job centers of Newark, Jersey City and Manhattan. It carries almost 10,000 daily NJ Transit customers and moves two million tons of freight annually via Conrail.

"This project represents the kind of investments we are making in critical infrastructure that will help keep New Jersey both competitive and on the move" said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Chairman Richard Hammer.

The new bridge will be on an alignment adjacent to the existing bridge, but will take advantage of structural design approaches and materials to lessen its vulnerability to severe weather events. NJ Transit says the new bridge will utilize reinforced concrete piers; a new steel superstructure; a new drive motor and electrical controls; tie-ins to existing track; vertical adjustment of existing track and electrical catenary relocation.

"Replacing River Draw will allow NJ Transit to continue to move customers to critical job centers and shore communities for years to come, without prolonged service disruptions related to severe weather events" said NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro.

The Raritan River Bridge Replacement project will advance as a result of a $446-million grant awarded by the FTA through its Emergency Relief Program for resilience projects in response to Superstorm Sandy. Final Design will start this month and is scheduled to be at 100-percent design by the end of 2018.

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