A replacement design for the century-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River between Kearny and Secaucus, N.J., will receive $38.5 million in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The replacement of the two-track bridge is intended to lessen delays on Northeast Corridor commuter rail service and increase capacity and reliability. Approximately 420 passenger trains use the current bridge each weekday.

“The Portal Bridge is a major chokepoint for thousands of commuters every day and an obstacle in the way of our efforts to improve regional rail transportation,” said U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in a statement.

The replacement of the bridge is also expected to help advance Amtrak's “Gateway Project,” which calls for building two new rail tunnels from New Jersey to New York City.

The Portal Bridge funding is part of more than $300 million in obligated grants issued by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for the expansion of high-speed intercity passenger rail corridors around the country, including $40 million for the upgrade of Connecticut's New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor and $3.3 million for additional rail and track capacity for Amtrak's Adirondack and Ethan Allen Express services to upstate New York.