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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Amtrak Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is proposing to replace Amtrak Bridges No. 7.80 and No. 7.96, collectively referred to as the “Sawtooth Bridges,” which are critical links and existing bottlenecks on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC)—one of the busiest transportation corridors in the world. The Sawtooth Bridges are in the Town of Kearny, Hudson County, NJ, between Newark Penn Station and Secaucus Junction (see Figure 1-1, EA Chapters 1 and 2), and they do not cross any bodies of water; rather, they span other rail tracks. Amtrak Bridge No. 7.80 carries two NEC tracks over four New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) commuter rail tracks that serve the NJ Transit Morris & Essex Line. Amtrak Bridge No. 7.96 carries two NEC tracks over one Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) Newark–World Trade Center (WTC) commuter rail track and one Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) freight rail track.

The age of the Sawtooth Bridges, their poor structural condition, and their two tracks (which restrict train speed to 60 miles per hour) limit the efficiency and reliability of rail operations throughout this segment of the NEC. The purpose of the Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project is to achieve a state of good repair and to improve the reliability and resiliency of rail service along this critical segment of the NEC.

Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Section 4(f) Evaluation in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); FRA’s Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (64 Federal Register [FR] 28545 [May 26, 1999] and 78 FR 2713 [January 14, 2013]); Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Act of 1966; Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations; and other applicable federal statutes, rules, and regulations.

FRA signed the EA on February 27, 2020, and the 30-day public comment period ran from March 5 to April 4, 2020. On August 27, 2020, FRA signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI addressed the public comments and included measures to minimize impacts that will be implemented with the project.

The Amtrak Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project EA and FONSI can be accessed via the links below.  

FRA Points of Contact

If you have questions related to the project, please contact Brandon Bratcher, FRA Environmental Protection Specialist, at brandon.bratcher@dot.gov or:

Brandon Bratcher
Federal Railroad Administration
RPD-13: Environment and Corridor Planning Division
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building, Mail Stop 20
Washington, DC 20590

Media Queries Contact:
Phone: 202-493-6024
Email: FRAPA@dot.gov

 

Last updated: Friday, August 28, 2020