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news release

Contact: Jim Berzok
RELEASE: July 24, 2000

NJDOT Breaks Ground on Portway

First Project To Go To Construction
Is Doremus Avenue Bridge In Newark

Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein and other dignitaries today broke ground for the $31million Doremus Avenue bridge replacement project in Newark, the first part of the Portway International/Intermodal Corridor program to go to construction.

"Two important events are happening at once," Weinstein said. "We are going to replace a well-used and well-worn bridge that serves as a gateway to Port Newark and Port Elizabeth, and, in doing so, we are inaugurating the first phase of the Portway program, a series of projects that will greatly improve freight access between the seaport, railroads and motor carriers."

"When completed, Portway will mean less truck congestion on our roads and the ability to efficiently move goods at the front door of northern New Jersey's ocean, air and rail transfer facilities," the Commissioner added.

The Doremus Avenue bridge, built in 1918, is located northeast of Newark Airport and crosses over Conrail's Oak Island rail yard, one of the busiest in the nation. The replacement project will provide for better traffic flow and improved access to businesses along Doremus Avenue and the adjacent Ironbound district.

The NJDOT intends to maintain two-way traffic on the bridge during construction. Construction plans call for half the new bridge to be built while traffic is maintained on the other half. Once the first half is completed, traffic will be diverted on to the new structure, while the older half is demolished and rebuilt. Construction is expected to be completed in 2003.

The project will also be the first to use "smart bridge technology," which will give the new bridge super- and sub- structures the capability of monitoring conditions in real time and provide data on how the bridge responds to heavy loads and stresses due to seasonal temperatures.

The Portway program has also been selected by the Federal Highway Administration, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as one of 10 projects nationwide to be included in the Environmental Streamlining Pilot Program. This program will accelerate the delivery of the transportation improvements while achieving maximum protection to the environment.

The Portway International/Intermodal Corridor program is a series of freight improvement projects that will strengthen access to and between the Newark-Elizabeth airport/seaport complex, intermodal rail facilities, and the regional surface transportation system.

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