Lautenberg says GOP budget would cost NJ 3,000 transportation jobs

U.S. Sen Frank Lautenberg testified in the senate today that a budget submitted by House Republicans would be devastating to the country’s infrastructure and would destroy some 3,000 in New Jersey.

“Our country’s roads, rails and runways keep our economy moving, but much of this infrastructure is now crumbling—and House Republicans aren’t the least bit interested in rebuilding it,” Lautenberg said.  “Instead, they’re seeking billions of dollars in cuts—a reckless plan that will leave our transportation network in disrepair.”

Lautenberg said in addition to slashing money for roads, the budget would decrease funding to Amtrak, “a vital national transportation service that takes eight million cars off our roads and keeps 50,000 flights out of our skies each year.”

Lautenberg touted his plan for a Gateway Tunnel, the replacement for the ARC tunnel scuttle by Gov. Chris Christie last year. 

“President Obama and Secretary LaHood know this, and that’s why their bold vision for the future includes more investment in transportation—including the creation of a world-class high-speed rail system,” he said. “That’s why I believe we must also invest in projects that will strengthen our economy —like the proposed Gateway Tunnel in my state.  This visionary project will serve both commuters in New Jersey and high-speed rail passengers throughout the Northeast Corridor.”

The Gateway Tunnel was proposed by Lautenberg and u.S. Sen. Bob Menendez last month.  The tunnel would lrun from Secaucus to New York – the same route planned for the ARC Tunnel – but would arrive in Penn Station rather than under 34th Street as was the plan for ARC.

The tunnel will allow 13 extra NJ Transit trains per hour - a total of 33-  and eight more Amtrak trains. The ARC project would have allowed 45 NJ Transit trains per hour. Lautenberg says GOP budget would cost NJ 3,000 transportation jobs