Gov. Murphy praises President Trump for allowing project to replace Portal Bridge to proceed

Gov. Phil Murphy is praising a decision by the Trump Administration to allow a project to replace the Portal Bridge to proceed.

News 12 Staff

Jun 15, 2020, 9:56 PM

Updated 1,397 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy is praising a decision by the Trump Administration to allow a project to replace the Portal Bridge to proceed.
The current Portal Bridge was built in 1910 and is a swing-span bridge over the Hackensack River. Because of its age, the bridge often gets stuck in the open position, which can cause rail delays throughout the Northeast Corridor.
Trump’s announcement came on Friday when the governor met with President Donald Trump for dinner at Trump's Bedminster golf course.
“We had made a significant amount of progress on the Portal North Bridge, but we still need a full funding agreement and the president’s green light on Friday allows us to proceed with that,” Murphy said Monday at his daily virus press briefing.
The president had tweeted that he authorized a new rail bridge in the Meadowlands. But the weekend passed without much more clarity on whether it meant a policy change.
“The president’s - the discussion both in substance, as well as the message he put out, is that it’s a $1.8 billion project,” Murphy said.
“His tweet – and more importantly the substance of the discussion – is this will allow us to go to the full funding agreement.”
The project received $91 million in funding three weeks ago, a fraction of the entire cost. The Obama administration approved funding for the Portal Bridge as part of the multibillion-dollar Gateway Project in 2015. But there have been several delays in getting the funding during the Trump presidency.
“This project is critical to our long-term economic health, not to mention the patience of hundreds of thousands of daily commuters who know all too well the headaches and delays that happen when the bridge fails,” said Murphy.
The governor said that he also discussed with President Trump some of the issues that are currently dividing the nation.
"We did discuss this moment in time, the need for us to come together as a nation. Confederate statues, Army bases with the names of Confederate generals – we in fact did discuss that,” said the governor.


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