Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy Highlights Investments in Critical Infrastructure Projects to Enhance Regional Port Operations


Port Experienced Record Breaking Cargo Activity in 2019, Making it the Second-Busiest Port in the Nation

NEWARK – Governor Phil Murphy today, joined by Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka, Mayor Jimmy Davis, Senator Joseph Cryan, and labor officials, announced a series of infrastructure projects that will enhance safety and vehicle movement, including on routes serving the broader regional port operations. The Port of New York and New Jersey is comprised of facilities in both states, serving more than 134 million people regionally. Roughly 500,000 jobs are supported by Port activities, which generate billions of dollars in economic activity each year. The Port is an economic driver not only for New Jersey, but the entire region. Based on record-breaking total cargo volumes in 2019, it is now the busiest port on the East Coast and second busiest port in the nation. 

“For decades, New Jersey and our ports have been the corridor through which much of our nation’s economic activity has flowed,” said Governor Murphy. “I’m thrilled that these critical projects will further enhance regional operations and contribute to a stronger, more modern infrastructure that will both deliver safer roads and bridges as well as fuel our state’s economic recovery — not just as we work toward the end of the pandemic, but for decades to come. In doing so, the jobs here at the Port, and the jobs created by the infrastructure projects around us will help ensure a stronger, fairer, and more resilient post-COVID economy.”

"The New Jersey Department of Transportation has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in advancing projects in the port district that directly and indirectly support the efficient movement of goods,” said Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The investment in these Portway projects today ensures our road and bridge network will be able to handle the intermodal freight needs of the future in a safe and efficient manner.”

“The Port of New York and New Jersey supports tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the region and generates billions in personal income, business activity and government tax revenue each year, which is why the success of the seaport is tied directly to the economic recovery of this region,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The seaport is moving record levels of cargo, and investments in regional infrastructure will be critical to ensuring that even more of these goods, commerce and jobs flowing through the port keep coming to the region.” 

"Newark’s Seaport is central to our City’s economy, and maintaining its infrastructure is critical to ensuring its efficiency and effectiveness,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “These investments being announced today will have a long-term positive impact on port operations and help create a safer, stronger, and more equitable Newark. I congratulate Governor Murphy, who has been a strong leader and partner for Newark, for launching this initiative.”

“I’m very happy to be here today to show support for these key DOT projects,” said Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis. “As Mayor of a city located in the heart of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, I can’t emphasize more how important the successful completion of these critical infrastructure projects are for my city, and for the region as a whole.”

“These infrastructure projects are important for the economic vitality of the region, the safety of motorists and the quality of life for residents,” said Senator Joe Cryan. “Port Newark is a transportation hub that fuels the flow of goods and services for the entire region. I applaud the Governor for moving forward with investments that will put men and women to work at a time when many workers are experiencing the hardships of the pandemic. These are investments that will support the long-term economic strength of  the Port Region.”

“The Port Industry is the fuel that drives the economic engine of the Region,” said John Nardi, President, New York Shipping Association. “These infrastructure projects will help ensure the port continues to grow and thrive.”

“On behalf of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, we would like to thank Governor Murphy for making these important projects a reality,” said Fred Potter, President of Teamsters Local 469 and Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “Not only will these projects put people to work, they will also make our roads safer and will pave the way for increased expansion at our ports.” 

“On behalf of the thousands of ILA men and women who work and reside in New Jersey, we applaud Gov. Phil Murphy for his steadfast support of strong, union jobs and commitment to improve our Port’s infrastructure,” said Harold J. Daggett, President, International Longshoremen’s Association. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, these projects will allow this port to remain the State’s powerful economic engine that fuels so much of New Jersey’s economy.”

Project descriptions:

Route 22 Chestnut Street Bridge Project 

The New Jersey Department of Transportation is overseeing the replacement of Chestnut Street Bridge on the Rt 22 mainline, located just west of Garden State Parkway in Union Township, Union County. The original bridge was built in 1929 and it carries four lanes of traffic. This bridge—which runs east to Newark Liberty International Airport/Port Newark— is considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The current bridge will be replaced with single span and, once complete,  will enhance safety of the motoring public on Chestnut Street. The new bridge will also provide shoulders for safer movement.  

Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge Replacement

A linchpin to the broader $700 million Portway Corridor Program, the Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge replacement is a nearly $500 million project constructing a new lift-span bridge over the Hackensack River to replace the existing lift-span bridge built in 1930. The improvements within this project will strengthen access to and between the Newark-Elizabeth Air/Seaport Complex, intermodal rail facilities, trucking and warehousing/transfer facilities, and the regional surface transportation system. These facilities and their access routes are the front door to global and domestic commerce for New Jersey and the greater metropolitan New York region. The new, wider vertical lift bridge doubles the vertical clearance over Hackensack River from 35-feet to 70-feet, resulting in fewer openings and less congestion. When the new bridge opens this spring, it will improve safety, alleviate congestion, and reduce the number of bridge openings by 70 percent. 

Route 27/Dehart Place

Located less than three miles west of Newark Liberty International Airport and less than five miles from the Port, this milling and roadway resurfacing project is designed to also enhance safety for pedestrians in the adjacent community as port activity continues to increase. The improvements also include pedestrian countdown signal heads, ADA compliant ramps, revised traffic signal timings, push buttons, lighting evaluations at signalized intersections, cross walks, bicycle compatible grates, and replacement of select deteriorated curb pieces and sidewalks, in addition to the milling and road resurfacing work. Elizabeth and Newark residents, in particular, are looking forward to this project.