The money from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) includes over US$55 million as the federal cost-share for the Amtrak and New Jersey Transit Corporation project, which involves building a new 4km-long rail bridge. There is also over US$36 million for New Jersey Transit to help it reconstruct the electrical facility that powers main line services in the area.

The 110-year-old Portal Bridge carries an average of 450 trains and 200,000 passengers each day. The swing-style span over the Hackensack River in Kearny is notorious for getting stuck in the open position, stranding commuters and bringing Amtrak and NJ Transit service to a halt. The new higher, fixed Portal North Bridge forms part of the broader Gateway Program, which also includes construction of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River into Manhattan.