“River Draw” Bridge Replacement Project

Photos and article by LRWP Board President Heather Fenyk

The last several weeks of pathogens monitoring in Perth Amboy have given us a front seat view of in-water preparations for the Raritan River Bridge replacement project. The bridge replacement project entails construction of a new drawbridge on New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line, spanning the mouth of the Raritan River between the city of South Amboy and the city of Perth Amboy, west of the existing bridge. The ceremonial “groundbreaking” was September 15, and the crew is now working on the project in earnest.

Bridge replacement work will include providing a 300-ft-wide lift channel for boats, as well as demolition of the existing bridge following completion of the new bridge. The existing movable bridge, a swing span built in 1908 and known as River Draw, sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 when it was struck by a runaway tugboat, shifting it on its pilings and requiring emergency repair before being placed back in service. The overall project cost is $595 million, and the new bridge will integrate resilient structural designs and materials to withstand future storm surges and be significantly less vulnerable to severe weather events.

Video of crossing of east bound and west bound trains on River Draw 10.1.2020
Work barge making preparations for a new Railroad Bridge in Perth Amboy
LRWP Board Member Alex Zakrewsky at Raritan Rail Bridge excavation site
River Draw train bridge, Perth Amboy
The River Draw in view of a Combined Sewer Overflow at Perth Amboy’s 2nd Avenue