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NJ Bridge Replacement Project Awarded

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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The New Jersey Transit recently awarded a $247.9 million contract for the initial construction phase of the Raritan River Bridge replacement project to George Harms Construction of Farmingdale, New Jersey.

The award is provided through a $446.3 million grant, received by the Federal Transit Administration for the project back in 2014. The grant is just one part of the $1.27 billion the agency received.

Raritan River Bridge

According to the NJ Transit, the Raritan River Bridge is a swing bridge, constructed in 1908. The structure currently carries the transit’s North Jersey Coast Line trains over the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy, New Jersey. The structure is reported to be the sole rail for 17 of 20 stations along the NJCL and carries roughly 10,000 customers daily.

However, in 2012, Superstorm Sandy produced various water-damage and caused the track to fall out of alignment, requiring emergency repairs prior to returning to service. As a result of the incident, the FTA approved that the structure’s replacement could advance through the Administration’s Emergency Relief Program for resiliency projects in response to Superstorm Sandy.

By June of 2017, the project hosted a public comment period into July, after an environmental assessment/section 4(f) evaluation was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and was made available for review.

In October, the FTA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the replacement project as part of the NEPA process, determining that construction would have no significant effect on the environment. Designs for the project began that fall and were expected to be completed by the following year.

To make the structure less vulnerable to saltwater immersion and coastal storms, the new drawbridge is expected to be build using more durable materials. Other proposed components of the project involve constructing new reinforced concrete piers on piles, a new steel superstructure, a new drive motor and electrical controls, building tie-ins to existing track, vertically adjusting the existing track and relocating the electrical catenary.

Transportation Today reports that the project is expected to be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost $595 million.

What’s Happening Now

Slated to break ground this summer, George Harms Construction has been recently awarded a $247.9 million contract for initial work, creating some 5,740 jobs, as estimated by the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure.

“We continue to make strategic resiliency investments in our infrastructure to ensure the long-term viability of the transportation system,’’ said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett. “The Raritan River Bridge replacement contract awarded today is a great step forward in ensuring our North Jersey Coast Line customers have robust and sustainable rail service that will better withstand the effects of extreme weather while meeting the current and future transportation needs of our customers for so many decades to come.’’

For the first phase, George Harms is slated to construct bridge approaches, piers and land work on both sides of the Raritan River. During construction, NJ Transit reports that it will keep the existing bridge in service for minimal service disruption.

Second phase construction is expected to involve construction of the lift bridge and flanking spans superstructure, communications, signal, and overhead catenary work, while the third phase will involve the demolition of the 112-year-old structure.


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; Bridges; Bridges; Contractors; Contracts; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Rail; Upcoming projects

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