The NJ Transit Board of Directors recently approved a contract with George Harms Construction of Farmingdale, New Jersey for the initial construction phase of the Raritan River Bridge replacement project.
The approximately $250 million contract is part of NJ Transit’s Resilience Program initiated following Hurricane Sandy to make its transit systems and infrastructure stronger and more reliable for its customers.
“We continue to make strategic resiliency investments in our infrastructure to ensure the long-term viability of the transportation system,’’ NJ Transit President & CEO Kevin Corbett said in a statement. “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.’’
The existing bridge, known as River Draw, sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and required emergency repair before being put back in service. Built in 1908, River Draw is the sole rail link for 17 of the 20 stations on the North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) between popular Jersey Shore recreation destinations and the major employment centers of Newark, Jersey City, and Manhattan. The NJCL provides service to approximately 11,400 daily customers making approximately 22,800 average weekday passenger trips and accommodates Conrail freight rail services. During construction, NJ Transit will keep the existing bridge in service to ensure minimal service disruption.
The work included in the contract awarded to George Harms Construction includes bridge approach spans, lift bridge and flanking spans piers, and associated land work. The next portion of the project, to be awarded in the future, would include construction of the lift bridge and flanking spans superstructure, communications, signal, and overhead catenary work. The final portion will be the demolition of the existing River Draw bridge following the new bridge entering into service.
The Raritan River Bridge replacement project advances as a result of a grant awarded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through FTA’s Emergency Relief Program for resilience projects in response to Superstorm Sandy. FTA funding for this project totals over $446 million, of which nearly $248 million is allocated to the contract award. The total project cost for all three phases is estimated at $595 million.
SOURCE: NJ Transit