In an OpEd that ran in the Newark Star-Ledger on Monday, August 5, NJ Rep. Rodney Frelinghusyen (R-11th Dist.) cited why the economic prominence of New York City's metropolitan region depends on continued support of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
"The Port is the economic engine of northern New Jersey, spurring more than $36 billion in economic activity each year. The Port is responsible for 279,000 jobs, representing $12 billion in annual wages. At the same time, the port generates more than $5 billion in annual tax revenue to state and local governments."
Rep. Frelinghuysen serves as chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He called the Energy and Water Appropriations bill recently passed by the House "a jobs plan."
Among other provisions, the bill allocates $46 million to complete the ongoing Harbor Deepening Project, a key effort to making the Port of New York and New Jersey competitive in the coming age of larger container ships transiting the Panama Canal.
Rep. Frelinghuysen noted that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has invested more than $2 billion in capital improvements to the port. He praised "remarkable collaboration" among the Port Authority, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, shippers, terminal operators, unions, and environmental organizations.
"Tens of thousands of people are directly employed along the piers, docks, warehouses, truck staging areas, and rail yards at the port, with thousands more working in New Jersey companies ... The port is critically important."
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has awarded awarded a 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to NYNJ Link Partnership as part of a $1.5 billion public-private partnership (PPP) to replace the current Goethals Bridge with a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed span. This will be the first bridge the Port Authority's built since 1931 when the George Washington Bridge opened to vehicular traffic. The project also marks the first true surface transportation public-private partnership in the Northeast.
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