Governor Urges Federal Cooperation for Gateway in Front of a National Audience
CHICAGO – Joined by former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Governor Phil Murphy today spoke at a panel discussion hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics on the importance of infrastructure investments, and urged federal partnership in moving the Gateway Program forward.
“In a state as dense as New Jersey – and a state reliant upon safe and modern transportation infrastructure – it is vital to make investments to keep our roads and bridges in good repair,” said Governor Murphy. “Our economy relies upon the ability of our residents to get to their jobs and to school, and then back home at the end of the day. Outdated infrastructure is a national problem that requires a strong federal partner to help solve, and I will continue working with our Congressional delegation to press the federal government for greater support and assistance – whether it pertains to water, or getting the Gateway Program built.”
“Today, interstates are crumbling, and 60,000 bridges are structurally deficient,” said former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “There are a lot of ideas, but everyone knows the roads need to be fixed. President Eisenhauer’s vision doesn’t exist in Washington, but it does exist in the states. If Donald Trump wakes up tomorrow and wants to partner with Governors, we could rebuild America. Passing an infrastructure bill is a jobs bill and it becomes an economic development tool.”
“When you look at the Gateway tunnel, the facts are overwhelming,” Governor Murphy continued. “Twenty percent of the nation’s GDP runs along the Northeast Corridor. We have unanimity across the Hudson, and across the aisle in our states. I remain optimistic, because it’s so compelling.”
Among the infrastructure projects prioritized by the Murphy Administration — including wind energy, water, and transportation initiatives — the Gateway Program is nationally significant due to passenger volume throughout the Northeast Corridor. The Program includes the Portal North Bridge and Trans-Hudson Tunnel, and any failure at either point would result in catastrophic consequences to the regional and national economies.
The Gateway Program, which has bipartisan support in Congress and from the New Jersey Congressional delegation along with other State leaders, has been delayed in the financial and environmental review processes with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration.
You can watch the discussion here.