John Porcari, Interim Director of Gateway Development Corporation, Discusses the Gateway Program
John Porcari, Interim Director of the Gateway Development Corporation and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation, joined the GCA and over 150 participants in an informal, informative and lively conversation about the status of the anticipated $24 billion Gateway Program and its impact on the New York Region and the construction industry.
One of the most exciting and necessary infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the metropolitan region, Gateway will not only construct two new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson, but will upgrade and expand virtually all the rail infrastructure between Newark and New York’s Penn Station. Porcari said that the initial element of the larger project, the replacement of New Jersey’s Portal Bridge North, is poised to get underway shortly, with construction of the $1.5 billion phase slated for bidding next year.
What remained a question mark, however, was the ultimate sources of funding for the project. Porcari was optimistic and undaunted by this hurdle, saying that there are a host of options, from Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans, passenger fees, and Federal Transit Administration New Start grants, to State participation from New Jersey and New York. Porcari noted his most immediate focus is on getting funding included in the upcoming federal budget -- the last of President Obama’s administration.
Porcari observed that no nation can secure their economic future while not investing in infrastructure and noted that we are relying on infrastructure that was designed, built and paid for by our grandparents and great grandparents.