(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) released the following statement after the 111-year-old Portal bridge once again became stuck early Friday, causing major commuter rail delays to and from New York’s Penn Station:
“It’s been difficult to understand the lack of support from the White House for a new commuter rail tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York and improvements to the Northeast Corridor, but for those who still needed evidence of the need for this investment, just look at Friday morning.
“Friday morning’s delays were caused by a bridge built when Teddy Roosevelt was president. It was built before the Model T hit the road. It was built when we only had 46 states.
“Government needs to do the basics, and that includes a reliable and effective mass transit system to get people to work on time and drive our economy. In the case of the Gateway tunnel and Portal bridge, we’re talking about our national economy – and our national security.
“It’s time for President Trump and Congressional leaders to do the right thing and prioritize this needed investment in mass transit in the vital New Jersey-New York area that means so much to our ability to create jobs and economic growth. If we do nothing, the problems we saw Friday morning will become more than delays. We’ll be talking about a national crisis, and those who did nothing will have to answer for it.”