New Jersey urging President Trump to support Gateway tunnel project

Governor Phil Murphy holds a press conference on the Gateway Project in Secaucus on September 4, 2018. Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office.

Governor Phil Murphy holds a press conference on the Gateway Project in Secaucus on September 4, 2018. Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office.

Gov. Phil Murphy and members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation are seeking the Trump administration’s support for completing the multi-billion billion Gateway tunnel between the New Jersey and Manhattan.

Gateway Development Authority trustee Jerry Zaro said a new tunnel is needed because the existing two train tunnels under the Hudson River need repairs.

“Fully 13 percent of the New York City labor pool is forced to play transit roulette, betting daily upon whether two ancient slender tunnels will get them to work on time or back home to their families in the evening,” said Zaro.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a North Jersey Democrat, said the project is vital for the region’s survival.

“We need to unlock every dollar that we can. The President has put up roadblocks despite him telling the American people that infrastructure is a priority,” he said. “How many times did we hear that? We haven’t had any infrastructure major bill which guarantees.”

Gov. Murphy predicts that Trump will change his position.

“This ought to be a no-brainer for him, which is why I’ve retained my optimism,” said Murphy. “I believe at the end of the day he and his team will get there because it is so obvious. It has such a big economic impact on this region and this region is the most important economic region in our country.”

The President had threatened to veto a federal spending bill if it had money for Gateway, but Congress included $541 million to advance the project.

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said the tunnel will be built with or without the President’s support.

“We will succeed at continuing moving the project forward. The bottom line is if we had cooperation, we move forward faster, it would be cheaper, and the nation would be better served,” said Menendez. “But until we get that cooperation we’re going to keep the project alive and moving forward through the appropriations process.”

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