Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy, New Jersey Commissioners of the Gateway Development Commission, Congressional Delegation Members, and NJ TRANSIT Leadership Mark the First Meeting of the Fully Constituted Gateway Development Commission


TRENTON – As part of a multi-year effort to obtain federal funding and advance work on the Gateway Program, Governor Murphy signed legislation in 2019 creating the Gateway Development Commission (GDC) and announced the appointments of New Jersey’s Commissioners to the GDC, Balpreet Grewal-Virk, Janine Bauer, and Jerry Zaro. In 2020, Governor Murphy secured federal funding for the Portal North Bridge Project, a critical component of the Gateway Program. Additionally, the Governor, along with New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, successfully secured a policy change from the Biden Administration, removing a Trump-era policy that prevented federal loans from being used as local matching funds on major infrastructure projects, like the projects in the Gateway Program. 

Today’s meeting of the Gateway Development Commission is the first meeting with all of New Jersey and New York Commissioners seated, and marks a new era of cooperation with the federal government on improving the commuting experience for the people of New Jersey. This first meeting begins the process of building the organization of the Commission, as well as noting the progress that the Gateway project partners, including NJ TRANSIT, Port Authority and Amtrak, continue to make on the Hudson Tunnel Project, which includes the building of new tunnels followed by the complete rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnels. 

“The first meeting of the Gateway Development Commission with a full board is a significant milestone on our path to rebuilding the most critical components of our regional transportation infrastructure,” said Governor Murphy. “With New Jersey’s final two Commissioners in place, the Commission can now begin to build an organization in the coming months to advance the important work of the Gateway Program. I look forward to working with the Commission, our partners in New York and at Amtrak, and the Biden Administration to transform our infrastructure and deliver a rail system that works for our commuters.”

“The Gateway Program is essential to preserving New Jersey’s economic future,” said Gateway Development Commission New Jersey Co-Chair Balpreet Grewal-Virk. “I am grateful for the support of Governor Murphy, the State Assembly and State Senate and look forward to delivering for the riders of NJ TRANSIT and the people of New Jersey.” 

“The Gateway Program represents a comprehensive, thoughtful approach to a vexing regional problem that must be addressed through collaboration and cooperation,” said New Jersey Commissioner Janine Bauer. “In particular, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Commission to deliver new and modernized tracks to go into, through, and out of New York to expand the capacity and reach of the network and improve the quality of the commute for thousands of commuters on a daily basis.”

“Building on the partnership that has taken root over the past several years, I am confident we can deliver this critically important project for the people of New Jersey, New York and America,” said New Jersey Commissioner Jerry Zaro. “It’s time to modernize our transportation network and finally build 21st century infrastructure to power our 21st century economy.”

“Today’s meeting by the full Gateway Development Corporation board is yet another important milestone in our continued effort to improve rail service for the entire Northeast Corridor and for New Jerseyans traveling between Newark and New York City,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  “After securing over $800 million in federal funding to replace the 110-year-old Portal Bridge, I remain committed to seeing the entire Gateway Project completed, including building a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel to Manhattan.  GDC will be instrumental in moving this critical project forward and finally providing relief and reliability for delay-weary New Jersey commuters.”  

 “Today’s inaugural meeting of the Gateway Program Development Commission is yet another exciting step toward providing New Jersey commuters the relief they desperately need,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “In addition to the new Gateway Commission, we now have a new Administration in Washington that understands how critical the Gateway Project is to the region and to our nation.  I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Murphy, our stakeholders, the Gateway Commission, and the Biden Administration in seeing Gateway through to completion.”

“The meeting of the Gateway Development Commission marks further progress in our efforts to improve a key transportation hub for our region and the nation as a whole,” said Congressman Albio Sires. “I have long been an advocate for the  Gateway Project which is critically needed to provide a reliable transportation network for millions of people. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress, Governor Murphy, and our new partners in the Biden administration to complete the entire project.”

“Today’s meeting of a fully constituted board is another important step towards fully addressing our region’s most pressing infrastructure needs,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation, Governor Murphy and the Biden Administration to finally get the job done on Gateway and so many other critical projects across our state.”

“I am proud of the work we have done in Congress to secure the necessary funding and approvals to replace the Portal North Bridge, which has troubled New Jersey commuters for decades,” said Congressman Tom Malinowski.  “I look forward to construction starting as soon as possible, and to continuing to work with the Biden and Murphy Administrations, the Gateway Development Commission, and partner agencies to get the Hudson River Tunnel done.”

“While the former Administration attempted to halt and derail the Gateway Project, the Biden-Harris Administration and Transportation Secretary Buttigieg have shown their support in moving this vital project forward,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “I commend my fellow members of the NJ Congressional Delegation on working together for a project that would create jobs and improve economic competitiveness, while improving mobility and quality of life for many New Jerseyans. The Gateway Project is not only good for the Northeast region, it is crucial to the entire nation and our economy.”

“The congressional delegation, the Governor, and our partners across the state have worked together for years to move the Gateway Project forward,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “With the new administration, we have an incredible opportunity to make sure we get shovels in the ground. Gateway is a quality of life issue for my constituents, and it will help jumpstart our economic recovery.”

“The Gateway Program is a top priority for residents in New Jersey and commuters up and down the Northeast Corridor who deserve safe, reliable, and efficient transportation,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in getting the Gateway Program across the finish line. The first meeting of the Gateway Development Commission is an encouraging sign that we are finally making progress on this critical project. I am confident this meeting will help establish the guidance we need to move forward with full construction of the Gateway Program projects. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration to ensure Gateway receives the federal support it needs.”

“The progress that has brought us to this point was only possible because of the commitment of leaders and advocates at all levels: local, state, and federal,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “The progress on the Portal North Bridge and the Gateway Program that we’re seeing today is the product of those efforts. The Portal Bridge is a vitally important infrastructure project that will, along with the rest of the Gateway Program, help secure economic security for the entire region. The progress we’ve made also shows the rest of the Nation what is possible when we all work together with a single goal in mind. I look forward to the work of the GDC.”

"I've been down in the tunnels and I've seen first-hand that they're literally crumbling. It's clear that the Gateway Project is our nation’s most critical infrastructure project and we need to finally get it moving forward. Recently, the Administration reversed a policy that was harming our progress, and, now, New Jersey and federal investment can come together so construction can start," said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. "We know that infrastructure investment can provide one of the best returns on investment, and that commuters depend on these tunnels to get to work, so they can provide for their families. We also know that if one of the tunnels were to collapse, it could cost the regional economy $100 million a day. I look forward to working alongside the U.S. Department of Transportation, the State of New Jersey, and the Gateway Development Commission to address these issues and help make New Jersey an even greater and safer place to live and do business.”

“The Gateway Project is finally getting back on track. The future of our economy and the quality of life for our families depend on our success with Gateway,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell. “Our congressional delegation knows this and has come together to carry the burden in Washington. We are united as one in Congress, with Governor Murphy, and with a new administration in DC to do whatever it takes. Every one of us knows what’s at stake. Today’s first meeting is another demonstration of that unity of purpose. The Garden State leadership will not stop until the shovels are in the ground and Gateway is moving.”

“We need the Portal North Bridge to be constructed as soon as possible to help commuters throughout northern New Jersey,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “I was able to secure $900 million in federal funding for the project to provide a modern replacement for the current, 111-year old bridge.  As the new Chairman of Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials,  I look forward to continue working with Governor Murphy to complete the bridge and get the funding necessary to build the new Hudson River Tunnel.”   

“A strong, reliable regional public transit system is key to the continued economic prosperity of the region.  The Gateway Development Commission is poised to deliver some of the most nationally significant infrastructure projects of this century,” NJDOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Today’s meeting is the first step in allowing that work to move forward in a way that engages the public and provides an opportunity for community input.”

“This is an important step forward in advancing this critical infrastructure program of national significance,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “The Portal North Bridge Replacement Project, a vital component of the Gateway Program, is advancing following the signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement in January. Now, with the continued support of Governor Murphy and the New Jersey congressional delegation, it’s time to focus our attention on building the Hudson Tunnel Project to preserve the reliability and meet the capacity demands of the entire Northeast Corridor for the next century.”