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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, with Gov. Phil Murphy, at a press conference on New Jersey infrastructure projects on September 4, 2018. New Jersey Globe photo.

Statements on Funding of Portal Bridge

By David Wildstein, June 19 2020 7:10 pm


“The Federal Transit Administration has committed to authorizing entry into the engineering phase and accelerating federal funding in the amount of $766.5 million for the Portal North Bridge, a huge win for New Jersey, the region, and the national economy. Since taking office, one of my top priorities has been securing funding for critical infrastructure projects like these that will restore NJ TRANSIT to prominence, and I am honored to have been able to make the case for Portal North directly to President Trump. I thank the President and his Administration for committing to this project and helping us usher in a new era of safe, modern, and reliable infrastructure for our region.”


“This is welcomed news, a great day for New Jersey commuters and a testament to the relentless efforts by the congressional delegation, stakeholders and governors to keep Gateway moving despite the obstacles thrown in our path.  By moving into the engineering phase of the Capital Investment Grants program, we are one step closer to securing a federal full funding agreement to replace the oft-malfunctioning Portal Bridge.  Portal has long outlived its usefulness and has become the bane of existence for transit riders mired in delays on the Northeast Corridor.  Not only must we replace Portal without further delay, but I will not rest until we complete the entire Gateway Project and build a 21st century transportation system that ensures New Jersey’s and the region’s economic vitality for generations to come.”


“The century-old Portal Bridge is a bottleneck for the entire Northeast Corridor, threatening the long-term economic health of our entire region.  Replacing Portal Bridge will help provide much-needed relief to New Jersey commuters who depend on reliable, safe rail transit. Anything that speeds this project along is good news for New Jerseyans.  Still, our work is far from over. We must remain focused on long-term solutions to replace our obsolete infrastructure by moving projects like Gateway forward in order to help strengthen our economic growth, boost job creation, and ensure commuter safety.”


“When the Portal Bridge was first built, William Howard Taft was President and the Philadelphia Athletics won the World Series. We need Portal North now to eliminate this bottleneck for our state commuters and to improve congestion along the entire eastern seaboard.  New Jersey’s congressional delegation has fought alongside the State to unlock every dollar available for this transportation priority.  While we are still fighting for more federal funding to be approved, today’s announcement is welcome news that progress continues. Our state, our region, and our national infrastructure need this positive step to ensure millions of Americans can cross the Hackensack River.”


“The Portal North Bridge project is now one step closer to getting done.  Having the project advance to the engineering phase brings us one crucial step away from securing the federal financial commitment we need to get this century-old infrastructure upgraded.  This is a huge win for New Jersey and for the entire region, and I will keep working in Congress to get this project across the finish line.”


“This is a milestone for the Portal Bridge project and the larger Gateway Tunnel project.  I have been fighting for the Portal Bridge replacement since I entered Congress, and know just how much it means to our region — for our commuters, for job creation, and for economic recovery from the pandemic.  I applaud Governor Murphy, our Congressional Delegation, and the Administration for working together to advance this infrastructure project of national significance.  Next up — the Gateway Tunnel.”


“Replacing the Portal North Bridge is a huge step forward for the region’s transportation systems and for the entire Gateway project. Moving forward with this project will improve our outdated rail infrastructure, bring about more reliable commutes, and safely put thousands of New Jerseyans to work. These systems routinely cause delays that threaten the economic output of the entire Northeast Corridor, and replacing them is a critical phase in rebuilding our economy from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope this is the first step toward funding the entire Gateway project, which will replace the Northeast Corridor’s crumbling infrastructure, improve the region’s economy, and finally give our residents and businesses the modern transit systems they deserve. Our members stand ready to work to get these projects up and running. We urge the federal government to move forward with the rest of Gateway immediately.”


“Today’s decision to move forward with the Portal Bridge project is long overdue. These funds will improve infrastructure systems that are essential for the entire Northeast Corridor and that sustain our economic vitality. Even better, they will create thousands of good-paying jobs. Our members are ready to get safely to work to build the new Portal Bridge, which will give us more reliable and efficient transit systems and provide the economic boost we need to recover from the Covid-19 recession.  Now, we need to move forward with the entire Gateway program. We have waited far too long to begin with these urgently-needed projects, and we urge the federal government to recognize the importance of building new Hudson River tunnels and overhauling our rail system far beyond the Portal Bridge.”

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