GoFundMe campaign wants to replace Portal Bridge

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Portal_Bridge_Sullivan
An NJ Transit train crosses the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River. A GoFundMe campaign wants to raise $920 million to replace the bridge.
Russell Sullivan

SECAUCUS, N.J. — NJ Transit commuters and Amtrak passengers tired of dealing with frequent issues with Amtrak’s Portal Bridge can now do something about it: Pay for a replacement themselves.

It's not buying the Brooklyn Bridge, but it's close.

A GoFundMe campaign to replace the 108-year-old bridge over the Hackensack River — presumably tongue in cheek — was created Wednesday by someone calling him or herself “Sad Jersey Commuter,” and after two days, has already raised $5 of its goal of, um, $920 million. That’s a whopping 0.00000005 percent of the total.

Bloomberg reports that a spokesman for Amtrak, which owns the bridge, declined to comment. NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said in an email that “We appreciate the public’s interest in this vital project.”

The Portal Bridge is a frequent source of delays for trains traveling to and from New York’s Penn Station [see “Bridge failure leads to NJ Transit commuter woes,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 31, 2018.] Earlier this month, service across the swing bridge, used by more than 400 trains a day, was halted when it was struck by a tugboat [See “Tugboat strikes bridge, delays service for Amtrak, NJ Transit,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 14, 2018].

The author of the campaign notes that $600 million in bond funding has already been approved, and adds, “Yeah, I added 20 million in oversight funding, but we are going to totally chew through that in no time when this goes massively over budget.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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