Dock Bridge Rehabilitation

The project involves restoring Dock Bridge to a good state of repair to maintain reliable operation of the structure and preserve safe passage for the hundreds of trains that cross the bridge daily.

Quick Facts: Dock Bridge

Project Status

Final Design; construction is anticipated to begin in 2024.

Customer Benefits

  • Improved service reliability
  • Improved worker safety
  • Environmental sustainability of the Passaic River
  • Civic pride and appreciation for the bridge
  • Elevated perception of Dock Bridge as well as maintained cared for structure
  • Enhanced community/bridge aesthetics


Estimated Construction Completion


Latest Milestones

FRA Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP-NEC) Grant Award was announced on November 6, 2023.


Upcoming Milestones

Two-step procurement process for Design-Bid-Build and Project Management/Construction Management services contracts to begin with Request for Qualifications (RFQs).


Project Partners

Amtrak, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), NJ TRANSIT, PATH

Funding Sources

Amtrak, FRA Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (FSP-SOGR) Grant Program, FSP-NEC Grant Program, NJ TRANSIT PATH

Opened in 1935, Dock Bridge is a six-track, triple-span moveable lift bridge located along one of the busiest sections of the Northeast Corridor, crossing the Passaic River between Newark, NJ and Harrison, NJ.

The bridge carries 720 daily Amtrak, Port-Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), and New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) trains between Newark and Manhattan. As owner of the bridge, Amtrak is working with its partners to advance the Dock Bridge Rehabilitation Project as part of the larger Gateway Program, a series of infrastructure projects that will improve the overall efficiency, capacity and resiliency of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) — the busiest passenger rail route in the United States.

A major focus of the project is steel cleaning and painting to address corrosion across all segments of the bridge, including the installation of containment systems surrounding the steel to allow for collection and proper disposal of hazardous debris. With a permit from the U.S. Coast Guard, the project also involves converting the bridge to a fixed span by installing “straight rail” in place of the moveable “miter rails” that disconnect from each other when the bridge opens and reconnects when it closes.

Additional enhancements and modifications include:

  • Steel rehabilitation and strengthening of bridge structural members;
  • Replacement and upgrades of access to the bridge including ladders, stairs, walkways and railings system to improve worker safety;
  • Installation of aesthetic lighting to highlight the bridge, enhance river views with dynamic illumination and bring attention to the historic bridge;
  • Removal and disposal of the existing timber fender system and the replacement of timber structures;
  • Rehabilitation and installation of a cathodic protection system for the concrete piers, which will prevent continued corrosion from the saltwater environment and extend the life of the existing structures.

Comprehensive rehabilitation of this steel-through truss bridge will improve reliability on the NEC and extend the useful life of this critical asset. Converting the bridge from a moveable to fixed span will save millions of dollars in annual maintenance expenses, minimizing the risk of more costly repairs in the future. It is also expected to improve travel times for intercity and commuter rail passengers, enhance worker safety by upgrading access to the bridge and add exciting new vibrancy to the Newark/Harrison waterfront.

The existing Dock Bridge carries six tracks that are used by Amtrak, PATH and NJ TRANSIT over the Passaic River. It entered revenue service in 1935.

Converting the moveable span to a fixed bridge involves securing counterweights in place, removing lift span cables, decommissioning and removing major components in the machinery rooms and the operating tower and installing continuous rails on each of the bridge spans.

Dock Bridge stands against blue skies in New Jersey

Structural steel will be rehabbed, cleaned and painted as part of the project. Replacement and/or rehabilitation of ladders, walkways, stairs and railings will mean safer access to the bridge for workers.

The timber fenders beneath the bridge will be removed and disposed of.

The rusted dock pier of Dock Bridge in New Jersey

Concrete pier rehabilitation and the installation of a corrosion protection system are also a part of the Project.

The Dock Bridge Project is one in a series of infrastructure projects that will be completed as part of the Gateway Program to modernize and expand the 10-mile stretch of railroad between Newark, NJ and New York City.