NEW YORK – Governor Phil Murphy today testified at a field roundtable of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the United States House of Representatives on the importance of federal support for the Gateway Program. This program of projects, which includes replacing the century-old Portal Bridge, and the construction of a new tunnel under the Hudson River, is the most urgently needed infrastructure project in the nation, with wide-ranging economic impacts. Gateway is the replacement for the ARC Tunnel Project, which was canceled in 2010 by Governor Christie. Had that project moved forward, a new cross-Hudson tunnel would have been operational today.
“My Administration is unwaveringly committed to ensuring the safe passage of the thousands of commuters crossing the Hudson daily, and any failure to complete the Gateway Program critically undermines this responsibility,” said Governor Murphy. “New Jersey has, and will continue to be, invested as a full partner to build Gateway, and I continue to call on the Trump Administration to join with us in this project of regional and national significance. I thank the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for their support, and for visiting our region to help move this program forward.”
“GDC is grateful for the support of our Governors and a bi-partisan delegation in Congress that is committed to seeing Gateway built,” said Jerry Zaro, NJ Trustee and Chairman of the Gateway Program Development Corporation. “Today’s roundtable is yet another example of why Gateway is a project of national significance, and needs a Federal partnership to ensure this vital link to 20 percent of the nation’s economy thrives and serves the region and nation for generations to come.”
“The Hudson Tunnels are vital to the region and nation’s economy, and so is the Portal Bridge," said Kevin Corbett, Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT. "Portal is ready to gowith the early action construction work completed on time and on budget earlier this year, and New Jersey’s funding commitment to the new bridge is 100 percent solid. All that is needed is for the Federal government to provide its share of funding, so we can keep this project moving and improve service reliability and predictability for our customers.”
The Portal North Bridge and Hudson River Tunnel Projects are imperative to the functioning of the Northeast Corridor (NEC), one of the busiest transit corridors in the nation. These two projects are single points of failure on the NEC, and a failure at either would have catastrophic consequences to the region and the country. The Murphy Administration has pledged $600 million to support the Portal North Bridge project.
The program, which has bipartisan support in Congress and from the New Jersey delegation along with other State leaders, has been delayed in the financial and environmental review process with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration.
“Inaction on critically important infrastructure projects such as Gateway has serious consequences and the cost of delay is extraordinarily high for our nation. That’s why it was so important to see the project first-hand and hold this field roundtable,” said Chair Peter DeFazio. “Governor Murphy and the State of New Jersey have worked incredibly hard to provide their local share of funding. Unfortunately for projects like Gateway, federal investment in infrastructure has significantly decreased in recent years. It’s time for the federal government to step up and do its job. Every day that we delay beginning construction on the Gateway Program $1 million is added to the estimated construction cost due to inflation alone. I appreciate the fresh insight from Governor Murphy, members of Congress, as well as the other stakeholders and I plan to take the information I’ve learned over the past two days with me back to Congress as we continue to fight for critically important federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure.”
“As a former member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I appreciate the Committee’s longstanding and bipartisan commitment to addressing the nation’s foremost infrastructure challenges,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee. “The Committee’s visit underscores the urgent need to move forward with Gateway, a project of critical economic consequence—not just for our region, but the entire nation. Key portions of Gateway are ready to go pending the Administration’s cooperation, and I hope President Trump’s newfound commitment to passing an infrastructure bill starts with an immediate end to the stonewalling of Gateway.”
"New Jersey has demonstrated steadfast commitment to the Gateway Project, and we simply can’t afford to wait any longer to move this project forward,” U.S. Senator Cory Booker said. “If the Northeast Corridor were to be shut down for just one day, the economy would lose $100 million in economic productivity - this fact alone demonstrates how urgent and important this project is to the economic vitality of our nation. It’s time for the Administration to step up to protect commuters and modernize our infrastructure. I’m grateful to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for visiting the region to see first-hand the urgent need to advance this critical project.”
“The Gateway Tunnel Project is an essential part of our country and region’s economy that desperately needs improvements to make daily commutes safer and more efficient. I wholeheartedly support this critical project, and it’s time for the Trump Administration to allow it to move forward,” Congressman Frank Pallone said. “I thank Chairman DeFazio and the members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who came to see for themselves why this investment is so badly needed. I also thank Governor Murphy and Members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation who have worked to ensure this project receives the funding it deserves to modernize our region’s infrastructure.”
“Our region is sitting on an infrastructure ticking time bomb. Further delay of the Gateway Program is unacceptable and endangers our nation’s economy and quality of life,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a former member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The New Jersey delegation has long demanded that the critical Hudson River Tunnels be repaired and modernized for the 21st century. The stability of our regional and national mobility depends on it. I thank Chairman DeFazio and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members for visiting New Jersey and New York to see the dire situation first hand. I’m proud to continue fighting for Gateway alongside Governor Murphy and my colleagues in New Jersey and New York.”
“The Gateway Program is the linchpin of Amtrak’s North East Corridor, which supports 30 percent of the country’s jobs and produces 20 percent of U.S. GDP,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Gateway is the most critical transportation infrastructure project in the United States. It is my pleasure to bring colleagues from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to see firsthand the ageing infrastructure under the Hudson River and why the federal government needs to contribute its fair share to the Gateway Program.”
“It’s estimated that if the Northeast Corridor had to shut down for just one day, it would cost $100 million. Now, imagine the devastation if the corridor shut down for months or years – and that could happen if Gateway doesn’t happen,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “This transportation artery is the lifeblood of the Northeast – particularly in New Jersey – and it seriously impacts our regional and national economy. We need to do everything we can to swiftly move the project forward.”
“I’ve said this before, and will keep saying it until we get it done — the Gateway project isn’t just a wish-list item or political posturing," said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. "The northeast corridor is critical to our national economy, and the Gateway project is critical to the continued growth and success of the northeast corridor. I remain committed to seeing the federal government do its part to support Gateway, and the jobs and development it will bring with it. The crumbling state of the existing infrastructure is proof that we cannot afford to wait."
“I’m glad to see that members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are traveling to our state to see the urgency of the Gateway project and the need for immediate investment,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “The urgency for investment doesn’t stop there. There are 44 structurally deficient bridges, miles of roads and outdated sewer and water systems in our district that need to be fixed now. I hope that seeing the need will be the first step towards bold, decisive action on infrastructure.”
“There has never been a debate about the need for Gateway -- the economy of New Jersey and the northeastern United States depends on maintaining and improving the region’s most indispensable transportation link,” said Congressman Tom Malinowksi. “The difference now is that the House of Representatives is seized with the urgency of getting Gateway done. I’m glad we had a chance to show the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee how dire the situation is, and I believe that the visit will increase our determination.”
“Every deferred decision on the Gateway Project means mounting delays, and a continued deterioration of the quality of life for residents in North Jersey,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. "There is a mismatch between the productivity our region and the quality of our infrastructure. The House recognizes the necessity of the Gateway Project, the urgency of transportation infrastructure investment, and the grave consequences of inaction. I joined the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday to speak about the importance on moving forward on Gateway, and I thank Chairman DeFazio and the rest of the committee members for coming to see the problems with the existing tunnel firsthand.”
Governor Murphy’s remarks are available here.