***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Rails Against Trump Administration’s Failure to Support Gateway Project

***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Rails Against Trump Administration’s Failure to Support Gateway Project


SECAUCUS, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee today joined Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.-09), Albio Sires (D-N.J.-08), Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.-10) and local stakeholders to urge the Trump Administration to do its part in supporting the completion of the Gateway Project, which is necessary to modernize and revitalize New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure.

“Like we’ve seen time and time again during the Trump Administration, reality is taking a back seat to the President’s political vendettas,” said Sen. Menendez. “He’s ignoring the national, economic benefits this project will generate. He’s ignoring the workers who would see good, family-sustaining jobs building the tunnels and replacing the Portal Bridge. And he’s ignoring the promises he made to the American people about investing in our infrastructure. Despite his campaign trail rhetoric about standing for the common man, it has become painfully clear that the President is driven by one thing and one thing only—childish and petty political games. We see the evidence of that in how his Administration is handling Gateway.”


President Trump has been actively trying to derail Gateway, threatening to veto the recent omnibus spending bill if it included any funding for the project. However, Sen. Menendez successfully fought to include $541 million to advance Gateway. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration inexplicably downgraded the project’s ratings that impact eligibility for federal funding. 

The Gateway Program is a comprehensive rail investment program designed to add critical resiliency and create new capacity on the 10-mile stretch of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Newark, N.J. and Penn Station New York. It includes replacing the more-than-a-century-old Portal Bridge, a moveable swing-span bridge that opens for marine traffic over the Hackensack River cutting off NEC rail service, and building new trans-Hudson tunnels to support an approximate doubling of rail capacity between Newark and New York, the busiest section of railroad in North America, supporting 450 daily and commuter intercity trains and some 200,000 passenger trips.  

As a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the transit New Starts program, Sen. Menendez was instrumental in ensuring Gateway’s eligibility for robust federal funding

In March, New Jerseyans got a glimpse of the commuting nightmare that would occur if Gateway is not completed before either the Portal Bridge or Hudson River tunnels fail when the Portal Bridge got stuck in the open position during the height of the morning rush, cutting off rail service along the NEC between Newark and New York, causing massive commuter delays and a cascading ripple effect throughout the region’s entire transportation network.