Home>National>Statements on President Joe Biden’s visit to New Jersey

President Joe Biden in North Plainfield on October 25, 2021. (Photo: Office of the Governor).

Statements on President Joe Biden’s visit to New Jersey

By David Wildstein, October 25 2021 3:16 pm

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

“Governor Murphy, so many of the national challenges we are confronting, are areas where you are already leading. The infrastructure bill is about rebuilding the arteries of America, and the Portal Bridge Project is showing why investments like this are so important. When the Portal Bridge was built, it was state-of-the-art, and it was, 110 years ago.  Today, it’s been called something different, a chokepoint, a bottleneck, an Achilles’ Heel to the Northeast Corridor. Since the Portal Bridge was built, it has become the busiest rail span in the entire Western Hemisphere. Today, we are moving forward on a new bridge so that it will be higher over the water, so it won’t need to open and close, and allow us to increase speed, safety, efficiency, and capacity. It’s going to make life a lot better for New Jersey’s commuters.”

GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY

“Today is a great day for New Jersey and the entirety of the Northeast Corridor.  This momentous groundbreaking is the culmination of years of hard work, planning, and relentless lobbying undertaken by our Administration, our federal delegation, and so many dedicated partners across government. The Portal North Bridge is the beginning of the largest critical infrastructure project in our nation, and with President Biden’s leadership, we are embarking on the path to completion of the Gateway Program. I am honored to have President Biden here today for this historic event and I look forward to continuing our work with his Administration on rebuilding our regional infrastructure to serve New Jersey residents and commuters.”

U.S. SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ

“After years of fighting for federal funding, I’m happy to see that we are well on our way towards replacing the century-old Portal Bridge.  I appreciate having a partner in the state like Governor Murphy who recognizes the importance of the Gateway Project and who has worked tirelessly to ensure we get the job done. Thanks to the support and determination of the Biden-Harris Administration, I’m confident that we’ll get Gateway completed and keep our commuters, economy, and state moving forward.”

U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER

“After years of work alongside our partners, I am proud to see the groundbreaking of the Portal Bridge, a vital project that will provide much-needed relief to New Jersey commuters by enhancing the safety and reliability of the Northeast Corridor.  I am especially grateful for the sustained efforts and partnership of federal and state officials, including the leadership of President Biden and Governor Murphy to further the progress of Portal Bridge. This project demonstrates that investing in our nation’s infrastructure not only creates jobs and enhances our quality of life, but also grows the economy. I look forward to continuing to work with President Biden to advance the Gateway Program and other critical New Jersey infrastructure priorities.”

REP. DONALD PAYNE, JR.

“The Portal North Bridge will make life easier for millions of commuters in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast Corridor.  It is a critical project to me because I have been an outspoken advocate for the entire Gateway Program and worked tirelessly to support the bridge.  I helped secure $900 million in federal funding for the bridge from the very beginning.  In addition, I have written letters to President Biden, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio to prioritize approval processes for the bridge several times this year.  I have spoken with Secretary Buttigieg about the entire Gateway Program several times and even visited the Hudson River Tunnel with him to show the immediate need for a new tunnel and repairs to the current one.  As always, it is an honor to work with Governor Murphy and New Jersey officials to complete the new Portal North Bridge.  Now, we need to shift our focus to funding and approvals for the Hudson River Tunnel project.”

REP. BILL PASCRELL, JR.

“The Portal Bridge was built when William Howard Taft was sitting in the Oval Office.  But thanks to our federal-state partnership, transit commuters and Amtrak passengers will no longer be reliant on this relic. This is no hyperbole: The Portal bridge project will ease millions of lives. New Jerseyans waited a long time for this day. Today’s announcement is a testament that leadership matters. Prior administrations here in New Jersey and Washington derailed our progress. They let the Portal and Gateway projects languish. But thanks to President Biden, Governor Murphy, and our united congressional team, we are finally moving forward.”

REP. ALBIO SIRES

“I applaud President Biden, Governor Murphy, and NJ Transit on the groundbreaking of the Portal North Bridge, which is a huge step towards reducing gridlock and improving safety for rail commuters between New Jersey and New York City.  As a senior member of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have long advocated for funding to replace the bridge and to complete the other parts of the Gateway Program, and I am committed to working with my federal and state partners to get this project over the finish line.”

REP. FRANK PALLONE, JR.

 “Thanks to President Biden, Governor Murphy, and Congressional Democrats, plans to rebuild the Gateway Tunnel and Portal North Bridge are no longer just empty promises.  The time to build back better is now and will help the thousands of commuters traveling between New Jersey and New York each day. This project will ensure the long-term growth of our region’s economy as well as safe and efficient transportation for New Jersey commuters.”

REP. MIKIE SHERRILL

“The Portal North Bridge is an instrumental part of the larger Gateway Project, which is the most crucial infrastructure project in the nation. I’m thrilled to be here for today’s event and to see the incredible support for this project from President Joe Biden, Governor Phil Murphy, and my Congressional colleagues.  I’ve fought tooth and nail to ensure this project moves forward alongside many of the federal and state officials here this afternoon. Today, we’re closer than ever to delivering this badly needed investment to the people of New Jersey and the entire nation.”

REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER

“With the Gateway Tunnel, SALT, accessible child care, climate provisions and two million jobs a year on the line, it is great to join President Biden and Governor Murphy today to highlight the importance of getting both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and a smart reconciliation bill across the finish line.  I am optimistic that we will see all these critical Jersey priorities move forward this week, helping to get shovels in the ground and people to work. For New Jersey and for the whole country, we simply can’t afford to wait any longer.” 

REP. BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN

“Completing a project as large and essential as Gateway and the Portal Bridge takes commitment from people at all levels from the designers, engineers and builders, to local, state and federal leaders.  I’m grateful to President Biden and Governor Murphy for their focused efforts to replace this 100-year-old bridge and see this project through as we Build Back Better.”

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI

“Today is a momentous day for New Jersey — we’re breaking ground on a critical component of the Gateway Program by replacing a bridge that has slowed down commutes for decades, and keeping our promise to start bringing home the tax dollars we send to Washington.  I’m grateful to President Biden and Governor Murphy for their partnership on the Portal Bridge, and I look forward to working with them to get the all-important Hudson River Tunnel done quickly, too.”

REP. DONALD NORCROSS

“This historic infrastructure project will expand rail capacity and reliability, reduce wait times and emissions, and create good-paying jobs moving New Jersey’s economy forward.”

REP. ANDY KIM

“I’m glad to see New Jersey investing in much needed infrastructure that will bring more jobs and more opportunity to our great state. This project can help people throughout the state and I look forward to seeing the positive effects come to Burlington and Ocean Counties.”

SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY

“I welcome President Biden and the federal support he brings for this vital project. The Portal North Bridge is a an essential component of the larger Gateway project that will dramatically improve passenger service to and from New York City for New Jersey passengers.  Gateway will provide one-seat rides on every NJ Transit line and double commuter capacity at New York’s Penn Station. Breakdowns  at the existing Portal drawbridge have been the biggest source of train delays for New Jersey commuters, causing disruptions in their quality of life as well as the regional economy. That’s why today’s ground-breaking is so important.”

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER CRAIG COUGHLIN

“Today’s groundbreaking marks the advance of long-awaited Gateway Project improvements needed to bring our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century.  An investment that is hugely significant in sustaining our nation’s economic vitality, modernizing the Portal Bridge will keep commuters safe and create jobs that are altogether consequential for countless regional communities and the lives of thousands of New Jersey residents. It is thanks to the combined efforts of government working together at every level that brings us to this historic juncture.”

 

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