This morning, Gov. Phil Murphy discussed how certain transportation infrastructure initiatives, such as the Gateway Tunnel project, reflect New Jersey’s larger vision for moving people and boosting the economy.
Speaking at the New Jersey Alliance for Action’s 21st Annual Statewide Transportation Conference, held at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, Murphy also mentioned that billions of dollars of infrastructure money is coming down the pike, thanks in part to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure agenda and Congress authorizing the Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Chips and Science Act.
The governor first touted the Mulberry Commons Pedestrian Bridge project, which broke ground yesterday in Newark. Once completed, the bridge will directly connect Penn Station to the Prudential Center, as well as Newark’s historic Ironbound neighborhood.
“I share this example because I believe this little bridge in Mulberry Commons Park speaks to our larger vision for the future of infrastructure in New Jersey,” Murphy said.
He also mentioned the Newark Airport Station Access project, which will open Newark’s South Ward to the airport and is expected to “create new job opportunities for residents and make it easier for our families catch their flights on time.”
The governor said there is no better symbol for how far New Jersey has come, in terms of the quality of its infrastructure, than the fact that it will soon break ground on “the most important infrastructure project in the entire country” – the Gateway tunnel project.
“Just this month, the Gateway Development Commission approved the first contract to begin construction on our side of the [Hudson] river. With this major step, our entry to engineering means we have officially moved the Gateway Program further along than any administration in history,” Murphy said, adding that more good news concerning federal funding for the Gateway Program will soon be announced.
As continuing examples of federal funding, Murphy said that just two weeks ago, the Federal Highway Administration announced it was providing $425 million to the state, as part of the August redistribution process, to support both NJ Transit as well as State Department of Transportation projects.
“That is the largest amount of funding New Jersey has ever received,” Murphy said. “In fact, it was the fourth-largest amount of funding that any state received, even though we are the fourth-smallest state in the country. “That funding is going to support vital projects, such as building a new pedestrian tunnel in Long Branch to connect businesses and consumers downtown. The federal government understands that the future of America runs right through the heart of New Jersey,” the governor continued.
He said his administration is doing its part to keep federal dollars coming in, such as working with the Legislature to deposit more money into the Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund to make sure the state meets its statutory responsibility to match federal investments in infrastructure.
“That sends a strong, positive signal to our federal partners,” Murphy said. “It shows that we are ready to do our part in getting shovels in the ground and putting workers on the move.”
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