Transportation and Infrastructure
As the most densely populated state in the union, New Jersey suffers from massive congestion problems. From 1997 to 2006, Bill served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he worked every day to modernize North Jersey’s roads, bridges, airports, and mass transit systems. Now as a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, with jurisdiction over revenues to the federal Highway and Aviation Trust Funds, Bill has not given up that fight for New Jersey’s infrastructure.
Bill has secured millions in new funding for the Ninth Congressional District to reconstruct some of North Jersey's most dangerous intersections, including the infamous 23/46/80 interchange and upgrades at bridges along the Route 46 corridor. Bill has been a strong advocate for renovating the Northeast Corridor transportation systems, which includes updating and replacing infrastructure that is over a century old. Bill proudly supported the last major investment in our transportation systems, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to put Americans to work, while making needed improvements to our roads and bridges. ARRA provided funding for improvements to Interstate 80, enhanced interchanges on Route 46 and Interstate 280, as well as repaved of our county roads, among other vital projects.
Public transportation serves as the linchpin for surface transportation in New Jersey. A fully functioning New Jersey Transit, with funding assistance for buses and railways through the federal government, is critical to congestion relief on our roadways and efficient transportation for commuters. Key to having a modern resilient system is the Gateway Project, which includes a replacement for the Portal Bridge spanning the Hackensack River between Secaucus and Kearny, as well as a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Bill has staunchly advocated for local public transit expansion projects, including a new Passaic-Bergen passenger rail service connecting Paterson and Hackensack and the Northern Branch of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. Bill also fights for continued federal support for intercity passenger rail service in the form of Amtrak.
Bill helped deliver additional federal dollars to provide communities throughout New Jersey with a "Jitney" shuttle bus service and the funds to operate it. The Jitney provides towns and cities with an innovative mass transit alternative to shuttle commuters to and from the train station, alleviating traffic and air pollution while easing the commute for hundreds each day. Bill has also advanced smart growth and alternate transportation initiatives by funding pedestrian friendly transportation options, local downtown streetscape improvement programs, and bike paths throughout the Ninth District.
While often ignored because it’s unseen underground, Bill is also focused on making improvements to our decrepit water infrastructure. Smart water infrastructure investment can mitigate public health risks and contribute to the preservation of natural resources, such as the Passaic River, Hackensack River, the Meadowlands, and Paterson’s Great Falls. Bill supports federal aid to the state’s revolving funds, and he has authored a grant program for investment in the modernization of aging sewer infrastructure affected by wet weather events. Bill is also the author of legislation to remove the cap on private activity bonds to replace our drinking water systems.
Bill works toward ensuring a safe, secure, and efficient aviation system. He advocates strongly for the economic engine of Newark Liberty International Airport on such issues as security needs, infrastructure modernization, expanded air routes, and air traffic control technology and staffing. With oversight over maritime transportation, Bill works with his colleagues to guarantee that Port Newark and Elizabeth remain competitive. New Jersey's economy is dependant upon the Port to move goods and provide jobs.
Of course, the government's role in transportation is more than just moving people and goods from point to point. Bill works to implement his vision for a system balanced between the dual goals of improving our quality of life and ensuring economic development, all while retaining community atmosphere in a safe and efficient manner.