Officials announce $143.6 million for new eastbound span of Route 3 Bridge

The funding is part of the recent $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Officials announced the funding on Jan. 25 in front of the old Route 3 Bridge.

New Jersey officials have secured millions for a project to build a new eastbound span of the Route 3 Bridge.

The $143.6 million in funding, which was announced by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Governor Phil Murphy, will support the construction of a new bridge over the Hackensack River.

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The current Route 3 Bridge was built in 1934 and over 150,000 vehicles drive over the bridge every day. Over the years, a number of repairs and emergency work has taken place to ensure the bridge’s viability, but this has also caused congestion along an already heavily travelled route into Manhattan.

This project would completely replace the eastbound bridge, which officials say will improve safety, reliability and sustainability. The replacement would be built north of the existing bridge, aiming to cause minimal disruption to the flow of traffic, and would also be raised to accommodate marine traffic in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard standards.

Lawmakers secure key federal monies

The federal lawmakers secured this funding in the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law in November. Officials gathered at the foot of the existing Route 3 Bridge in Secaucus to announce the funding on Jan. 25.

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest investment in America’s bridges since the creation of the federal highway system,” said Menendez. “And boy do we need it. Throughout New Jersey we have about 500 bridges in a state of disrepair, including the Route 3 bridge behind us today. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will unleash American ingenuity and help us build a more resilient, more sustainable, and more productive economy.”

“From providing funds to clean up toxic Superfund sites, replace lead pipes, and now repair our state’s crumbling bridges, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is positioning New Jersey to build a stronger economy that will help us to recover from this pandemic,” said Booker. “This investment into our bridges will allow our country to be more competitive globally, build a 21st-century transportation system, and create jobs that will bolster the entire economy. I was proud to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and am grateful for the partnership between federal, state, and local officials that will see these funds distributed to urgent projects that will make an immediate impact in the lives of New Jerseyans.”

Pascrell and Murphy applauded the project

Pascrell applauded the project, which stretches over the Hackensack between East Rutherford and Secaucus. Pascrell represents the 9th Congressional District of New Jersey which encompasses both municipalities.

“When they put the finishing touches on the Route Three Eastbound, FDR was still in his first term,” Pascrell said. “The Westbound was completed under JFK. Between these two bridges alone is 147 total years of wear and tear along one of the busiest commuter arteries in the Western Hemisphere. Today we finally have a Governor, a President, and a Congress who are simultaneously committed to rebuilding our bridges. The $124 Million project we are announcing today is the direct fruit of action by our Democratic Congress. Paired with the major Gateway Tunnel milestone we recently achieved, the investments we are announcing today will make sure that the travelers moving on these roads won’t lose an extra minute of their lives.”

Murphy thanked the New Jersey representatives for securing funding for the much-needed project.

“With their support, and the leadership of the Biden Administration, we are finally beginning to see critical infrastructure funding come through from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” Murphy said. “The Route 3 bridge between East Rutherford and Secaucus is one of many projects that will benefit New Jerseyans due to this historic effort. The IIJA will provide significant funding and support for years to come as we revamp roads and bridges throughout the state.”

Infrastructure bill funds to the rescue

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that New Jersey will receive $229.42 million in FY22 from the infrastructure bill to help repair 502 bridges across the state, including the Route 3 bridge, that are considered in poor condition according to the Federal Highway Administration.

“As New Jersey works to build and repair its aging transportation infrastructure, we will also be creating and supporting jobs,” said Raymond M. Pocino, vice president and eastern regional manager of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). “According to Federal Highway Administration, the Route 3 Bridge alone would support 1,859 jobs both within and outside of the construction industry. The additional $1 billion of bridge work secured by our Congressional delegation will create another 13,000 jobs which means the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act not only strengthens infrastructure, it strengthens families and communities.”

Over the next five years, New Jersey is expected to receive a total of $1.147 billion in bridge formula funding from the bipartisan bill. Officials say that the billions of dollars will help the state repair roads and highways, expand mass transit, build the Gateway Project, replace water and sewer pipes, and increase broadband internet access.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.