On Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin was joined by U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios, South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry, and local leaders to mark funding milestones for the South Amboy Ferry Terminal that have together positioned the project to see construction start this summer.
“Diversifying and expanding our network of transportation infrastructure is crucial to most efficiently getting people to and from places in one of our country’s most economically productive regions,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “As we near the start of construction, with funding secured including from state and federal government, we mark an important milestone in the development of the South Amboy ferry and I applaud efforts at the state, county, and city level that are getting this long-awaited project to the finish line.”
The terminal planned for South Amboy is intended to support direct water ferry service for passengers into New York City. The State has cumulatively appropriated approximately $18 million for dredging and waterside construction including bulkheads, pilings, the floating dock, and more.
“The completion of this facility is the keystone to all that we have built or will build on the waterfront,” said South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry. “It will result in an unprecedented level of transportation alternatives and open up another large segment of our waterfront for public access and enjoyment.”
The city of South Amboy was awarded a $5.3 million federal grant for the project, distributed through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Passenger Ferry Grant program. Part of a larger vision to create an intermodal transit village, the ferry service will combine strategically with the local train to improve city and regional mobility.
“I’m proud to join state and local leaders in South Amboy today to mark this important moment in the ferry terminal project,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “The South Amboy ferry will give residents a new way to commute between Central Jersey and New York City and reduce traffic congestion. The new facility will also bolster economic opportunities in the city and surrounding area. I’m glad the federal funding I helped secure for the project will be put to work soon, and I want to thank everyone who joined us today for their dedication and support of this important project.”
Tuesday’s press conference follows several months of progress in city efforts to secure funds, receive appropriate development permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and U.S Army Corps of Engineers, and begin procurement of contracting bids and solicitation of requests for proposals.
“The ferry service is the lynchpin to the ongoing renaissance taking place in South Amboy, as investors are investing millions of dollars to reshape the waterfront,” said Senator Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex). “We are consistently learning of new opportunities being created in South Amboy, as developers share their vision for the city’s consideration. It is an exciting time to be part of this community, as we work with local officials to carefully navigate the best path forward for South Amboy. This grant is evidence that federal officials also see the enormous opportunity to create what will certainly become one of the top transit villages in the state. None of this could be achieved without vision and planning for the ferry and I applaud South Amboy for this landmark achievement.”
“South Amboy’s future Ferry service will cement the city’s role as one of Middlesex County’s most important transportation hubs,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex). “Offering direct service to New York City for commuters and visitors alike, the ferry will not only provide an efficient commuting option but will also provide a substantial boost to South Amboy’s local economy. Projects likes these have generational impacts and I am proud South Amboy’s diligence and tenacity towards ensuring this project’s beginning and ultimate completion.”
Altogether, the $22.3 million will fund every aspect of the project except for the ferry terminal building. An expanded waterfront plaza and walkway are all part of funded project plans.
“A project of this magnitude and impact does not come together over night; it is the result of hard work, planning, and dedication,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “Today’s groundbreaking is the culmination of years of effort on the part of South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry and the City Council. Of course, this project would not be possible without the critical funding secured by the 19th District Legislative team of Speaker Coughlin, Senator Vitale, and Assemblywoman Lopez.”
Watch a video of the event here.