Amtrak’s CEO Joe Boardman tells Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes (Sunday, November 23 at 7:30pm on CBS), that the 104-year-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey is “not reliable” and “its systems are breaking down.” It's one of many bridges that Americans use every day that are in “dire need of repair or replacement.”
The two-track, moveable swing-span bridge opened in 1910 to service the newly constructed Penn Station in Manhattan. Today the portal bridge is known as "the Achilles' hell of the Northeast Corridor" as its beams are so low that it often has to be opened to allow boats to pass underneath it causing major delays to the 103 scheduled trains that use the bridge daily. After a derailment in 1996, the Federal Railroad Administration approved a $1.34 billion project to replace the Portal Bridge with two new bridges. That was six years ago. As of 2014, funding to build the bridges "had not been identified."
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