Lowey Announces $139 Million in Federal Funding for Portal North Bridge and Penn Station Revitalization and Repairs

May 21, 2020
Press Release


Investments in NY MTA and NJ Transit will Advance Gateway Project and Facilitate Safer and Easier Travel for New York Commuters and Families

Replacing Track on the Portal North Bridge and Advancing the Penn Station Access Project will Improve the Commute for Rockland and Westchester Residents

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) today announced $139 million in federal grants for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New Jersey Transit Corporation through the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SGP) program to facilitate safer and easier travel to and from New York City.

“Together, this funding to support the Portal North Bridge and Penn Station access will go a long way to ensure a safer and easier commute for Westchester and Rockland residents,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I’m particularly pleased that after years of pressure, the Administration has begun investing in the Gateway Project, one of the most important infrastructure investments in our country. New York is the most transit-dependent city in the nation, and without these critical repairs and improvements, our region could be one catastrophe away from total failure. These resources will help bring our infrastructure into the 21st Century for commuters and working families in our region, and I will continue pushing for additional funding for the Gateway Program.”

The following four SGP grants are part of $400 million Congresswoman Lowey secured in fiscal year 2019 funding to bring much-needed improvements to the New York City metro area’s transit infrastructure to ensure safe, dependable, and accessible service:

New York

  • $30,000,000, MTA Penn Station Access Project— This funding will be used to replace 210 catenary structures on the Amtrak-owned Hell Gate Line between Penn Station, NY, and New Rochelle, NY. This project will increase the reliability and resilience of the electrical traction system for passenger rail services and reduce the risk of future structural failures that would cause passenger delays.
  • $17,506,577, MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to Penn Station Platform Improvements—This grant will be used to rehabilitate Penn Station platforms by making improvements such as replacing staircase risers and tactile strips, improving lighting and signage, and remediating lead and asbestos. These changes will make travel through Penn Station safer and more reliable.

New Jersey

  • $55,100,000, Portal North Bridge Amtrak Project—These funds will be used to replace the existing two‐track movable Portal Bridge. The existing bridge is used by 450 daily trains with more than 200,000 daily passengers between Amtrak’s intercity services and NJ Transit’s commuter rail services. The new track will eliminate the need for a movable span that interrupts rail operations. This improvement will reduce delays caused by bridge openings needed for waterway traffic and mechanical failures related to opening or closing the existing bridge.
  • $36,408,410, Reconstruction of Substation 41—Substation 41 powers the Northeast Corridor main line services in northern New Jersey into Penn Station, New York. After this reconstruction, Substation 41 will provide a back-up power supply for the Northeast Corridor in the event of regional blackouts, severe weather, or cyber‐attacks.

“The continued advancement of the Gateway Tunnel project is monumentally important to the entire NY Metro region and specifically to Rockland County,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “Funding of the Portal North Bridge gets us that much closer to realizing the full Gateway project, which is a vital precursor for Rockland County and other West of Hudson communities to one day have a one-seat ride to Manhattan. We are grateful to Congresswoman Lowey for her role in securing these important funds.”

“I would like to thank Congresswoman Nita Lowey, for once again fighting for the best interests of the people of our County,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “The Penn Station Access Project is transformative for commuters who want to get from Westchester County or the East Bronx to the West Side of Manhattan, as well as for those who want to access business hubs in Westchester and Connecticut. The 30 million dollars in funding that Congresswoman Lowey has secured will go a long way in ensuring the safety of our commuters and working families by improving our infrastructure while helping to advance one of the largest expansions on the Metro North Railroad since it was created.”

“Penn Access will be among the most significant transit improvements in our region's modern history, with the potential to boost our local economy, reduce commute times, attract private investment to our downtowns, and improve access to employment,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “Congresswoman Lowey's effective advocacy brings us a giant step closer to achieving this long-sought goal.”