Not Again! Old N.J. Bridge Gets Stuck, Halting NYC Trains

(Bloomberg) -- Welcome (back) to commuter hell.

Amtrak and NJ Transit were forced to suspend trains to New York’s Pennsylvania Station during Friday morning rush hour after the decrepit swing bridge over the Hackensack River jammed open.

NJ Transit first alerted commuters to the stuck bridge about 5:30 a.m. on Twitter. Limited service resumed about 8 a.m. after the span was coaxed into action.

“Both tracks now restored to operation,” Amtrak said on Twitter at 8:45 a.m. “Residual delays will unfortunately be felt as a backlog of trains wait to proceed, and we appreciate your patience.”

As of 9:30 a.m., NJ Transit was reporting delays as long as 30 minutes in both directions and continued to divert its Midtown Direct line to Hoboken, where riders had to switch to PATH trains to get into Manhattan.

The century-old bridge hosts about 450 trains a day between New Jersey and New York, and often delays traffic when it swings open for boats. On several occasions, the bridge has gotten stuck.

During the last incident, on. Jan. 11, the bridge failed to close after the morning rush-hour, causing 30 canceled and 69 delayed trains, some for more than two hours.

Trains that can operate at 90 mph on the Northeast Corridor line are restricted to 60 mph over the bridge; a new one would permit faster speeds. Plans to replace it with a fixed bridge with higher clearance would cost $1.5 billion and are part of Amtrak’s Gateway tunnel project, which lacks federal funding amid President Donald Trump’s opposition.

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