Amtrak starts procurement for replacement of New Jersey’s 116-year-old Sawtooth Bridges

The Sawtooth Bridges in New Jersey, outlined in yellow The Sawtooth Bridges in New Jersey, outlined in yellow (Image: Amtrak)

Amtrak and NJ Transit have begun the procurement process for the replacement of the 116-year-old Sawtooth Bridges in New Jersey.

The work is part of the wider Gateway Program, which involves the phased expansion and renovation of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail line between Newark, New Jersey, and New York City.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded $133.2 million in grant funding to support early construction activities for the Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project, along with 24 other projects totalling more than $16.4 billion of federal investment across the NEC.

Owned by Amtrak and built in 1907, the Sawtooth Bridges carry more than 400 Amtrak and NJ Transit trains per day.

The new replacement four-track structure will double track capacity and allow trains to run at higher speeds – currently they are restricted to 60mph on the aging Sawtooth Bridges due to their condition.

Amtrak has published Advance Notices on its Procurement Portal.

It said it intended to use the ‘construction manager at risk’ (CMAR) approach to deliver the project and expects to issue two Requests for Qualifications in the near future – one for the CMAR contract and another for the project, program and construction management contract.

A formal Request for Proposals will follow in 2024.

It directed interested bidders to monitor Amtrak’s Procurement Portal for further information and submittal requirements.

This work will be performed under a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) as part of a 2021 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Amtrak and North America’s Building Trades Unions covering Amtrak’s major civil engineering projects.

In September, Amtrak awarded its first-ever CMAR contract to advance construction for the Frederick Douglass Tunnel Program in Maryland. Active procurements are also underway for the East River Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, Connecticut River Bridge Project and major fleet facility upgrades.

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