NJ Transit advances Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project

On December 8, 2021, NJ TRANSIT issued an Invitation for Bid (IFB) for the second Construction Contract GC.02 of the Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project. The first Construction Contract GC.01 was awarded to George Harms Construction Company, Incorporated on June 30, 2020. The Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project will replace the 112-year-old bridge, connecting South Amboy and Perth Amboy, damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The new bridge will integrate resilient structural designs and materials to withstand future storm surges and be significantly less vulnerable to severe weather events.

“We are pleased to be another step closer to completing an improved, modern and more resilient Raritan River Bridge for our North Jersey Coast Line customers,” said

NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT has continued to advance critical infrastructure projects such as the Raritan River Bridge throughout the pandemic, which is essential to delivering safe and reliable transit services for generations to come.”

The work under this IFB generally includes but is not limited to, all necessary operations to perform the construction associated with the Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project – Construction Contract GC.02 mainly consisting of Lift Bridge and Flanking Spans Superstructure, Communications, Signal and Overhead Catenary Work. Included within this contract will be all the systems required for the movable span testing and operation, the erection of the four main span monopoles previously designed, fabricated and tested in the scope of Construction Contract GC.01. Additionally, this contract will include miscellaneous civil and structural work, wetland mitigation work and the demolition of the existing bridge as necessary to construct the bridge fender system as well as to provide a fully functioning navigational channel beneath the newly constructed bridge.

Electronic bids will be received by NJ TRANSIT until Thursday, March 24, 2022. Only firms who have previously submitted an approved special prequalification and have met the special qualifications requirements may submit a bid for this project.

The current Raritan River Bridge, colloquially known as River Draw, is a moveable, swing-span bridge that spans 2,920 feet across the Raritan River between Perth Amboy and South Amboy. Built in 1908, it is the sole rail link for 17 of the 20 stations on the North Jersey Coast Line between popular recreation destinations along the Jersey Shore and major employment centers of Newark, Jersey City, and Manhattan.

During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the existing Raritan River Bridge became submerged and was severely damaged, resulting in an 18-day outage for both rail service and marine traffic as the bridge was realigned and repaired. While several repair and rehabilitation contracts to keep the bridge in service have been executed, the movable span has frequent operational issues and excessive maintenance costs continue to escalate. In addition, the bridge is subject to frequent marine vessel collisions due to the poor channel geometry at its swing span.

The existing bridge, seen in the top photo, has a low vertical profile, and, as a result, is at high risk of damage from extreme weather events.

The replacement project would include a new off-line replacement of the existing obsolete bridge with a new, two-track vertical lift bridge on an improved vertical and horizontal alignment.  The new bridge, a rendering shown in the bottom photo, would provide a more resilient structure with additional vertical clearance above the 100-year flood elevation.

The western alignment would place the new bridge farther away from the ocean to improve flood resilience and also increase the design speed for trains on the bridge. The introduction of new mechanical and electrical systems would provide for more reliable movable span operations, resulting in reduced maintenance costs from current thresholds.

In addition, improved navigation channel geometry at the lift span will significantly reduce the risk of vessel collision, and the associated costly repairs, with the bridge’s pier protection systems.

The one‐time total economic impact of the Raritan River Bridge Replacement project for the New Jersey economy will be $1.0 billion including the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts, supporting 5,740 jobs and $352.5 million in earnings according to studies by Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT).

More information on the Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project is available at http://njtransitresilienceprogram.com/raritanriveroverview/.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

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