Transportation and Member Project Requests
The transportation infrastructure networks that serve our country are having a hard time keeping up with service demands. More people are driving or using public transportation, but states have less money to repair and upgrade this infrastructure. Our congressional district is not an exception and we have all struggled with old bridges, late trains, and potholed roads.
As a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, I have worked to authorize programs that allow New Jersey to tap into federal money for infrastructure projects. The federal government has a responsibility to help states that need assistance financing upgrades, and I continuously work to increase funding for grant programs that cities can use to finance big infrastructure upgrades projects.
2021 Member-Designated Project Requests
Below is a list of projects that Congressman Albio Sires has submitted to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for consideration.
Permanent Ferry Terminal Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor Former Military Ocean Terminal - Sponsor: City of Bayonne, NJ
The funding is designated for constructing a ferry terminal and waterfront promenade, as well as additional parking spaces. These improvements would include accessory work, such as lighting, signage, traffic control, stormwater management, utilities, etc. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: providing a new means of access to Manhattan for the Peninsula’s residents and the region at-large, which has experienced a substantial increase in residential growth over the last decade, as well as promoting green infrastructure and climate change resiliency.
Cost: $4.321 million
Lincoln Avenue Drainage Improvement – Sponsor: City of Elizabeth, NJ
The funding is designated for construction of approximately 3,000 linear feet of new storm sewers to replace the existing drainage system. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: reducing street flooding, improving vehicle access, and reducing damage to local homes.
Cost: $2.08 million
North Broad Street Redevelopment Project – Sponsor: City of Newark, NJ
The funding is designated for improving the intersection of Broad Street, Broadway Avenue and Clay Street in Newark. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, exploring installing ADA pedestrian signals, repairing and or replacing traffic channelization islands and controlling by-pass traffic from Rt-21, and potentially repairing or replacing land-gantry signs/poles, and extending the useful life of the roadway.
Cost: $1.2 million
Traffic Signal Optimization/Adaptive Signals Along McCarter Highway (Route 21) – Sponsor: City of Newark, NJ
The funding is designated for upgrading standard traffic signals to adaptive traffic signal technology throughout the McCarter Highway (Route 21) corridor between 3rd Avenue in the north and Miller Street in the south (20 signalized intersections). The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: providing important connectivity and access to Downtown Newark, major employment centers, cultural institutions, universities, and neighborhoods; reducing air pollution; and contributing to the advancement of several of the NJTPA’s and Newark’s regional and local goals including the use of technology to improve congestion, air quality and safety without increasing roadway capacity.
Cost: $1.6 million
Newark Broad Street Signal Optimization- Sponsor: City of Newark, NJ
The funding is designated for upgrading traffic signals at intersections along Broad Street Newark from standard fixed time traffic signals to adaptive traffic signal technology with wireless connectivity capabilities. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: reducing congestion and emissions and improving traffic flow.
Cost: $1.65 million
Trenton Avenue Bridge over Elizabeth River, Elizabeth, NJ – Sponsor: Union County, NJ
The funding is designated for rehabilitating the Trenton Avenue Bridge over Elizabeth River. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: improving passenger safety by rehabilitating a structurally deficient bridge.
Cost: $5 million
Pleasant Avenue & Park Avenue / Pedestrian & Vehicular Safety Improvements & Restoration– Sponsor: Weehawken & Union City, NJ
The funding is designated for improving Park Avenue & Pleasant Avenue. This roadway is a major access road to the Lincoln Tunnel, which connects New York City & New Jersey. Furthermore, the improvements would also provide safer pedestrian crossings, better vehicle flow, and improve overall roadway safety conditions. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: meeting current State & Federal Department of Transportation roadway crossing standards, adding cross lights for pedestrians, signal improvements, improvements to roadway integrity, upgrades to become ADA compliant.
Cost: $9.4 million
River Road Overpass – Sponsor: West New York, NJ
The funding is designated for creating a multimodal overpass to safely connect pedestrians with transit. The project is anticipated to have the following benefits: safety enhancements, allowing more pedestrians to safely cross, providing much needed economic development to local residents and access to jobs for upland residents which will be essential post pandemic.
Cost: $5.2 million
The Gateway Project
The most important, and complex, infrastructure network on the east coast is in our District. The tunnels and rail lines that connect New Jersey and New York are over 100 years old and were battered during Superstorm Sandy. They are in operation today, used to move freight and passengers throughout the region, but they are in desperate need of repair. Without federal government help, state authorities will be forced to shut them down for emergency maintenance or a tunnel could become unuseable - reducing the capacity by up to 75 percent. The Gateway Project is a massive undertaking to protect the economic viability of the region that includes repairing and upgrading these tunnels that tens of thousands of commuters travel through each day as they go in and out of Manhattan.
New Jersey cannot finance the project by itself, and it should not have to. As a Member of Congress, I have consistently pushed the Department of Transportation to move the Gateway Project’s federal grant application through the Department’s project review process. Repairing and expanding these tunnels will impact anyone who commutes in the northeastern United States or travels by rail along the entire east coast. We cannot afford to play politics with something this important.
Aviation and Ports
The aviation industry is an important sector of our economy and commercial aviation employs thousands of people around the country. Our congressional district is home to part of Newark Liberty International Airport employs 22,000 people, serves 50 airline carriers, and generates $33 billion in economic activity.
This Congress, I have supported legislation that authorizes airline safety programs, pays federal airline employees in case of a government shutdown, and requires training for airline crew members to identify and address fume events onboard aircraft. I will continue my work in the 166th Congress to ensure that our airports have the resources they need to serve my constituents and our airlines have the tools they need to keep passengers safe.
Our district is also home to ports that serve as a throughway for products coming into our country and goods being sold abroad. I have supported legislative efforts to increase funding for grants and loans programs that our ports can draw from for upgrades and repair projects that keep our district competitive.
Transportation and the infrastructure necessary to keep it up impacts our everyday lives. If any one of our nation’s transportation infrastructure network breaks down, Americans immediately feel the impact - especially residents of New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District. That is why I have worked so hard to provide our States and cities with the federal funds they need to maintain current infrastructure networks, expand current infrastructure, and build new projects to meet the needs of growing cities and expanding economies.
More on Transportation and Member Project Requests
Congress has faced critical policy dilemmas all year long including rising student loan interest rates, budget battles, and immigration reform, among other issues. Most recently, Congress has been charged with the difficult task of responding to the President’s proposal for military action in Syria. As Congress continues to examine and debate the next step for the United States, it is important not to lose focus on the issues at home.