Amtrak, in coordination with NJ TRANSIT, has begun the procurement process for the Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project. Replacement of the Sawtooth Bridges is a key component of the Gateway Program to preserve and expand the busiest section of the Northeast Corridor (NEC). When completed, this will allow more trains to operate through the territory at faster speeds and provide future Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT customers with a more reliable and safer ride.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently awarded this project up to $133.32 million in grant funding to support early construction activities, along with 24 other projects totaling more than $16.4 billion of federal investment across the Northeast Corridor (NEC). This work will modernize and expand 1.9 miles of the NEC in Kearny, New Jersey, built in 1907.
“Building the new Sawtooth Bridges requires significant coordination with our partners at NJ TRANSIT, PATH and Conrail and we are grateful for their shared commitment to modernize and bring this critical stretch of the NEC to a state of good repair,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “We appreciate the Biden Administration, Governor Murphy and Congress for providing and helping to unlock the IIJA funding that makes this work possible.”
Owned by Amtrak, the Sawtooth Bridges carry more than 400 Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT trains per day over tracks used by NJ TRANSIT, PATH and Conrail freight trains. When complete, the new four-track NEC structure will double track capacity in one of the most congested and complex locations on the NEC where these different services all come together. The age and current condition of the Sawtooth Bridges also restrict trains to speeds of 60 mph.
The procurement process has officially begun with the publication of Advance Notices on Amtrak’s Procurement Portal. Amtrak intends to use the innovative 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.
Interested bidders should monitor Amtrak’s Procurement Portal for further solicitation information and submittal requirements. The publication of Advance Notices helps alert potential proposers to upcoming procurement opportunities, providing companies with lead time to prepare their bids and establish relationships, including participation from Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms. It also helps to increase competition and improve the quality of proposals.
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.
The Sawtooth Bridges Replacement Project is one of several major infrastructure projects being planned and delivered by Amtrak’s Capital Delivery organization under the leadership of Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery Laura Mason. 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, major fleet facility upgrades and more. Additional procurement opportunities for other projects will be announced over the next several months.