First phase of Gateway project 'shovel-ready,' Murphy says.

 
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Byline: Daniel J. Munoz

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11th District, chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which serves as one of the first gatekeepers for enacting federal appropriations every year.

Frelinghuysen is stepping down from office in January, and Murphy's office has indicated that until then, New Jersey's state lawmakers and a Congressional delegation would be pushing for Frelinghuysen to tack on more funding into whatever appropriations bills move through his committee.

Murphy, at his Tuesday presser overlooking the Portal Bridge, was joined by Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, three members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation and several Hudson County officials, all Democrats.

Murphy was also flanked New Jersey Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti and New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan.

The governor on Tuesday called the Portal Bridge "shovel-ready.""We have committed our funding," Murphy said. "We were asked by the federal government to put more skin in the game, and we did and then some."

The Portal Bridge carries trains along the busy Northeast Corridor Line to and from New York. It spans the Hackensack River at a low height, meaning it has to swing open to allow boats to pass through, and often has trouble realigning, causing delays for commuters traveling into Manhattan.

In June, the NJEDA pledged $600 million in bonds to finance the bridge, after the U.S. Department of...

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