Skanska joint venture awarded “critical” $1.5bn contract to replace New Jersey bridge

The Portal Bridge (Julie Feinstein/Dreamstime)
A joint venture between Swedish contractor Skanska and American company Traylor Bros has won a $1.5bn contract to replace the 110-year-old Portal Bridge in New Jersey.

The contract is part of New Jersey Transit’s Gateway Programme, which involves replacing the ageing 293m-long railroad Portal Bridge, as well as the construction of retaining walls, foundations, concrete piers, structural steel bridge spans and rail systems.

The Portal North Bridge links Newark with New York City’s Penn Station and is described by Traylor Bros as a bottleneck, particularly if it malfunctions while opening and closing for maritime traffic.

The new bridge will be located 15m above the Hackensack River, allowing boats to pass underneath without interruption.

The contract is funded by the US Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.

Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s governor, said: “Few infrastructure projects are as critical to the nation as replacing the ageing Portal Bridge.

“This award will not only bring a bridge that will resolve the long-standing bottlenecks plaguing New Jersey commuters, but will also create well-paying skilled labour jobs in the process.”

Josh Gottheimer, a US congressman, said: “The Gateway Project is our nation’s most critical infrastructure project; it’s the lynchpin to 20% of our nation’s GDP, and something we’ve all been fighting for years.

“The Portal North Bridge is more than 100 years old and literally falling apart. It doesn’t close properly and regularly catches on fire, causing massive delays and stalling commuters who are just trying to get home to see their families.”

The project is due to be finalised by 31 December. Once construction begins, it is due to take five and a half years.

Image: The Portal Bridge (Julie Feinstein/Dreamstime)

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