New Jersey Transit commuters will have one less headache to deal with in the years ahead. Ground was broken Tuesday in South Amboy on the four-year project to replace the Raritan Bay Bridge, just 112 years old.
Governor Phil Murphy was there. He said the project will put thousands to work. “It is projected that this project will create and support more than 5700 good, overwhelmingly union, jobs,” he said, “and pay the workers on site here more than $350 million in wages.”
Trains will use the old bridge while the new one is built slightly west of it.
Murphy said north Jersey commuters on NJ Transit have not had an easy time of it. “For commuters along the North Jersey coast line,” he said, “their commutes required them to traverse two of the oldest and crankiest bridges not just among any of N-J Transit’s rail lines but in the entire United States.”
The other bridge Murphy was referring to is the Portal Bridge in Kearny, which has a habit of getting stuck in the open position. That bridge is also being replaced. Construction will start in the spring.
The Raritan Bay Bridge took quite a beating from Superstorm Sandy. NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett said the new bridge should stand up to powerful storms. “The new design that was constructed, that you’ll be seeing constructed, is going to allow for much greater resiliency, and takes into account the lessons learned from Sandy,” he said.
Murphy also gave the latest data on the coronavirus, noting that the transmission rate remains above 1%, but that it has flattened and dipped slightly in recent days.