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Portal bridge: ticking time bomb?


metsfan

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I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on the Portal Bridge situation.

 

 

Current structure:

090902-10.jpg

 

Prone to swing mechanism drive failures, track alignment issues, electrical overhead line issues, being only 2 tracks, opening sometimes being in conflict of train schedules, and generally structurally mediocre in soundness, this bridge has served well, but is very overdue for replacement.

 

Amtrak & (NJT) have received funding to replace the bridge, completion expected in 2014, proposal track diagram below:

 

track-schematic.png

 

I like the idea of the flyover connection.

 

All this being said, do you feel the bridge is a disaster waiting to happen? should it become a fixed span till it is replaced?

 

- A

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I Personally think all those bridges are time bombs , the Route 7 Bridge is be replaced , set to be done in 2014, Approaches are half done. I think the PATH bridge over the Hackensack needs to replaced. I think alot of the Expressway / Railway bridges need to be Replaced , they've been neglected to long, its only matter of a few years Before we see I-35W happening in the NYC Metro. I Think this Stimulus money should go here to fix these bridges , if there really is Stimulus Money :mad::mad:

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I Personally think all those bridges are time bombs , the Route 7 Bridge is be replaced , set to be done in 2014, Approaches are half done. I think the PATH bridge over the Hackensack needs to replaced. I think alot of the Expressway / Railway bridges need to be Replaced , they've been neglected to long, its only matter of a few years Before we see I-35W happening in the NYC Metro. I Think this Stimulus money should go here to fix these bridges , if there really is Stimulus Money :mad::mad:

 

Yea, i agree, there seemed to be a lot of excitement, hubub etc over roads, buildings, transit projects etc, but what seems to be lost is over the years America's ability to take care of its infrastructure. It's like we are the roman empire, if we don't act, there will just be a lot of fascinating ruins.

 

As far as the stimulus... Of the 8 billion in HSR money, only 3 billion has been set for use. I think the "one big project" idea, which is conflicting with the "many small projects" idea, should be combined, into "one big set of small projects", meaning replace/permanently repair all the bridges, viaducts, embankments, support structures in the country, on a list from most to least vital, and worst to best condition. Then, have a secondary lump of money to improve signals, switches, stations, rolling fleet, and lower fares by 5% across the country. After those are done, have a 3rd fund set aside for startup projects such as light rail on the former CNJ routes, temporary diesel branch service combined with nationally electrified trackage. Every country in western europe has at least one rail line that has wires from end to end of the country, we have the money, resources, and people. Get some folks back employed.

 

To quote tom hanks "we are now living in a world were man has stepped foot on the moon. It wasn't a miracle, we simply decided to go". If we decide to fund rail transportation & related infrastructure projects as much as they need to be funded, this country would be the center for rail technology, people would travel here to see our train systems, it would be amazing.

 

- A

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I'm guessing that they'll have to demolish the historical connection between the PRR and DL&W in order to expand the four track alignment with all the inbound express NEC thru-trains as well as most M&E Midtown Direct trains routed via the South Bridge. Adding another bridge also calls for more money to maintain and open if necessary. New trackage such as the connection from the M&E to the South Bridge will cost much more as the ROW is made from scratch. Now the biggest question is, how will the ARC alignment be built with this new plan? I personally want to see one 4-tracked vertical lift bridge feeding from Newark Penn Station to Secaucus Transfer with flying junctions north for the ARC. Swing bridges are simply outdated as Bascule bridges take too long to draw with additional expensive maintenance fees.

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I'm guessing that they'll have to demolish the historical connection between the PRR and DL&W in order to expand the four track alignment with all the inbound express NEC thru-trains as well as most M&E Midtown Direct trains routed via the South Bridge. Adding another bridge also calls for more money to maintain and open if necessary. New trackage such as the connection from the M&E to the South Bridge will cost much more as the ROW is made from scratch. Now the biggest question is, how will the ARC alignment be built with this new plan? I personally want to see one 4-tracked vertical lift bridge feeding from Newark Penn Station to Secaucus Transfer with flying junctions north for the ARC. Swing bridges are simply outdated as Bascule bridges take too long to draw with additional expensive maintenance fees.

 

The kearney connection won't be affected. What will be affected is on the other side of the river between the bridge & SEC, that is where the ARC loop & yard goes. There are currently just the straight tracks that run through SEC there.

 

- A

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