The Moles Arrange Student Tour at Portal North Bridge

On October 20, Mark Champagne and Mike Flynn hosted stations as part of a tour of Amtrak’s Portal North Bridge project in New Jersey for The Moles’ Annual Students Day. The Moles are a national fraternal organization of the heavy construction industry, and they have been arranging site tours for students since 1962. Each year students go on a walking tour of a high-profile construction site, stopping at points of interest to learn about the project’s engineering. 

Mike and Mark volunteered to run two stations focusing on GeoEngineers’ geotechnical and structural design work for the many temporary trestles required for the Portal North Bridge project. The popular “open-air classroom” event is offered to Juniors at participating colleges, universities, and military academies. This year, approximately 350 students attended the event and rotated through the learning stations for a fascinating first-hand perspective on the engineering required for this massive project. 

The aging Portal North swing-span bridge is one of the busiest in the United States, carrying more than 200,000 Amtrak customers across the Hackensack River each day. After more than a century of use, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit hired Skanska-Traylor Joint Venture to replace the structure with a modern fixed-span two-track bridge. 

GeoEngineers is providing geotechnical and construction support services for the $1.5 billion replacement bridge, which has been under construction since October 2021. At about 2.5 miles in length including the approaches, the replacement bridge will be significantly longer than the original. The construction design team is providing recommendations, temporary structural designs, and excavation support for the many trestles, temporary roadways, cofferdams, work platforms, approaches, and other earthworks required to complete project construction. 

We're driven by our values.