Rep. Malinowski Applauds Signing of Portal North Bridge Federal Funding Agreement

January 14, 2021
Press Release

(Somerville, NJ) Today, Representative Tom Malinowski applauded the final execution of the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) to secure over $800 million to replace New Jersey’s Portal North Bridge. The signing of the agreement marks the culmination of a years-long effort to secure federal funds for a key component of the Gateway Project.

The existing Portal North Bridge is 110 years old, badly in need of repair, and a major source of delays for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains running between New Jersey and New York. Trains crossing the bridge must slow down due to its weak structural integrity, and when it opens to allow boats to pass it sometimes fails to close, disrupting rail traffic up and down the northeast corridor.

“I am proud of the work we have done in Congress to secure the necessary funding to replace the Portal North Bridge, which has troubled New Jersey commuters for decades,” said Rep. Malinowski.  “I look forward to construction starting as soon as possible, and to working with the incoming Administration to advance the Hudson River Tunnel portion of the Gateway Project.”

In August of 2020, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $248 million in Capital Investment Grants (CIG) funding for the Portal North Bridge—this followed an announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in June 2020 that the Portal North Bridge replacement had officially moved into the engineering phase of the program. Last February, the Federal Transit Administration announced that it upgraded its rating for the Portal North Bridge replacement project to medium-high, making the project eligible to enter the engineering phase and take it one step closer to a federal full funding agreement. 

In May, the New Jersey congressional delegation announced over $91.5 million in funding to advance replacement of the Portal Bridge and make other upgrades to improve service along the Northeast Corridor.

The first bill Representative Malinowski introduced, the Transportation Funding Fairness Act, allows New Jersey to count federal loans as part of its share of jointly funded transportation projects. Rep. Malinowski has participated in strenuous oversight of the FTA, and repeatedly pressed DOT officials to move forward with Portal North in hearings and phone calls with senior Department officials.