***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Responds to Portal Bridge Malfunction, Calls on Trump to Move Gateway Forward

***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez Responds to Portal Bridge Malfunction, Calls on Trump to Move Gateway Forward

Senator: ‘We’re going to fight President Trump tooth and nail’


PASSAIC, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee called today’s Portal Bridge malfunction during the height of the morning rush just another example of why advancing the Gateway Project to replace the span and the crumbling Hudson River tunnels is so critical.  The more-than-a-century-old swing bridge across the Hackensack River in Kearny, N.J., jammed in the open position, cutting off rail service along the Northeast Corridor between Newark and New York Penn Stations, causing massive commuter delays and a cascading ripple effect throughout the region’s entire transportation network.  

“The incident created at the Portal Bridge, which is part of the Gateway Project, jammed up the entire Northeast Corridor where thousands were affected in their daily commute,” Sen. Menendez said.  “It’s just one of the examples why we need Gateway.  We need these two new trans-Hudson tunnels; we need the Portal Bridge redone.  About 20% of the gross domestic product of the nation is generated from this region.  This is a project of national significance, and we’re not going to let President Trump ultimately end-run us and veto something that, at the end of the day, is so important to the country.” 


Sen. Menendez is working with his colleagues in Congress to include federal funding for Gateway in the upcoming budget, despite the President’s threat of a veto.  The Trump Administration has also refused to recognize a 50/50 Gateway funding agreement made by the previous administration with the States of New Jersey and New York.

“The President should not arbitrarily tell Congress what it can or cannot do.  It is our right as a separate, co-equal branch of government under Article I of the Constitution to send the President what we think is the appropriate budget and then he’ll have to decide whether to sign it or veto it,” the senator continued.  “I’d like to challenge his bluster.”

Sen. Menendez made his comments when asked by reporters about this morning’s rail incident during a tour of an urban revitalization project and historic tower in Downtown Passaic that was made possible through the awarding of federal tax credits to leverage private investment.