TEANECK, NJ (Bergen County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer Thursday joined local North Jersey labor leaders and officials to highlight how urgently the region needs infrastructure investment to fix our bridges, tunnels, and roads.
Gottheimer and local leaders stood beneath the Route 4, Hackensack River bridge that connects Teaneck and Hackensack. This bridge is currently rated as “structurally deficient,” meaning that key elements of the bridge are considered to be in “poor” or worse condition.
Overall, New Jersey has the third worst roads in the nation, as of 2020; more than 500 bridges in in New Jersey are currently rated as deficient; a third of New Jersey’s bridges need repairs; New Jersey’s public transit has the worst on-time record; the Gateway Project has been stalled for years; lead water continues to threaten New Jersey children’s drinking water in schools; and many rural New Jersey residents do not have basic broadband connectivity.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, a single dollar in infrastructure can have as much as a $2.50 impact on the nation’s GDP.
“The bottom line is that we cannot afford to wait any longer. We cannot afford four more years of crumbling bridges, roads, and tunnels, lead-filled pipes, and failed transportation. And that’s why I’m here today, because I’m confident that, working together in a bipartisan way, we will, once and for all, get an infrastructure bill signed into law. We must get this done. We simply have no other choice,” Gottheimer said. “Not only will infrastructure investment create thousands of good-paying jobs for construction workers, engineers, and others directly involved in those projects — and we have the best labor trades in America right here, ready to build these projects. Higher quality infrastructure will help the economy in the short and long-term, and help it operate more efficiently: cars and trucks will spend less time idling in traffic, commuters and products will be able to get to work faster and home to tuck in their kids, businesses and schools will have the internet access they need, and companies and jobs will come here, stay here, and grow here.”
Gottheimer was joined by Teaneck Mayor Jim Dunleavy, Bergen County Commissioner Tom Sullivan of IBEW 164, Bergen County Commissioner Mary Amoroso, Park Ridge Mayor Keith Misciagna of IBEW 164, Dan Ortega, the Community Affairs Director of Operating Engineers 825; Chris Larson, Business Representative for IBEW Local 164; Mike Schneider, President of the Bergen County Central Labor Council; and members of the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council.
“The importance of this bill cannot be overstated,” said IBEW Local 164 President and Bergen County Commissioner Tom Sullivan. “The residents of Bergen County that I proudly serve as a Commissioner are in dire need of the resources it will provide. The men and women of labor fully support this and we thank congressman Gottheimer for all of his efforts to make this a reality for the people of his district.”
“The efforts by Congressman Gottheimer to deliver critical infrastructure dollars for New Jersey’s transportation systems has been unwavering. We are proud to fight alongside him to make projects like the Gateway Tunnel and others a reality,” said Greg Lalevee, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825.