TEANECK, NJ (Bergen County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Friday joined with local North Jersey labor leaders, business leaders, and officials to highlight how the recently-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will help fix North Jersey bridges, tunnels, and roads — at a crumbling, structurally-deficient Teaneck bridge that has needed investment for years.
Gottheimer recently helped lead the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House, to send the historic legislation to the President’s desk.
New Jersey has the third worst roads in the nation, as of 2020, and hundreds of New Jersey bridges are currently rated as deficient.
Gottheimer was joined by New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken, Bergen County Commissioner and President of IBEW Local 164 Tom Sullivan, Greg Lalevee of IUOE Local 825, Teaneck Mayor Jim Dunleavy, members of Labor International Union of North American (LiUNA), local leaders, and many hardworking women and men of labor.
“For everyone who has ever hit a pothole, been stuck on a train, spent too much time commuting, or worried about the water their children are drinking, this Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is a game changer. It is an investment that New Jersey needs, badly. I heard you loud and clear — you wanted action. Today, we are delivering,” Gottheimer said. “Over the last months, Democrats and Republicans came together, working with the President, crafted, and passed the greatest infrastructure investment in a century. It is a great example of how our government is supposed to work: coming together, across party lines, to get things done for our families and small businesses.”
“We have an infrastructure in New Jersey that not only is in disrepair and needs to be modernized, but many years ago, the dean of infrastructure in New Jersey, Bob Rowe, said to me that the infrastructure in New Jersey is the foundation of our economy. Our infrastructure needs a lot of work, we are in an economic crisis because of COVID. Those two things together are not good,” said NJ Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken. “We now have an infrastructure bill that has been passed by Congress, will be signed by the President on Monday, and for us in New Jersey, $12 billion and the jobs it will create. The economic boost will be enormous. This is great for New Jersey. Not only was Josh Gottheimer instrumental in getting this passed, but based on my conversations with many people in Washington and those in the Chamber of Commerce, he was the person who got it passed. His leadership is unbelievable.”
“For far too long, we haven’t taken care of our bridges, roads, and infrastructure. We’re going to be putting people to work at jobs that let people go home and feed their families, send their children to college, and have a great education. This bill puts hard-working people to work at a middle-class wage and allows them to raise a family,” said Bergen County Commissioner and President of IBEW Local 164 Tom Sullivan. “Congressman Gottheimer, we had many long nights on the phone and in the union hall, and you never wavered. Everyone in the state of New Jersey should take notice of what you did, not just the building trades, but everyone in this state.”
“The Operating Engineers look to the future with a great deal of optimism and enthusiasm over this infrastructure bill. Historic investments in our roads, bridges, transit, airports, ports, broadband. The possibility that Amtrak will finally realize the Hudson River Rail Tunnels, and we’ll see the groundbreaking on the Portal North Bridge very soon,” said Greg Lalevee of IUOE Local 825. “World class infrastructure improves our regional economy and our national economy and our global competitiveness. We look forward to training the next generation of blue-collar, well-paid workers to go out and execute on these projects. We wouldn’t be standing here without the hard work of Congressman Josh Gottheimer.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will be signed into law by President Biden this coming Monday, November 15, and will make unprecedented investment in our nation’s roads, bridges, and mass transit — including major investment for New Jersey.
The bill will also get the Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey built. It infuses the largest investment in bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system, and commits unmatched resources to storm resiliency, electric vehicle infrastructure, clean drinking water, and reliable high-speed internet.