- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a $300 million spend last week to replace an aging rail bridge in New Jersey, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- According to the Port Authority, the existing Portal Bridge, which spans the Hackensack River, has recurrent mechanical problems that disrupt service and "cuts off" New York from much of the U.S. rail system.
- The agency's contribution marks the biggest single-agency commitment to the Gateway Program, a $24 billion effort to improve rail connectivity along the Northeast Corridor.
According to Amtrak, one of Gateway's primary partners, it has also directed federal funds totaling $300 million into the program. This summer, Amtrak scored $2.45 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation for upgrades to the Northeast portion of its rail system, the largest loan the agency has ever granted. The company said it still needed $7 billion for maintenance, due to increased pressure on the system from population growth along its routes.
The interest in infrastructure spending in the U.S. has grown in recent years, as industry leaders have drawn attention to its deteriorating state. In fact, earlier this month business leaders petitioned both presidential candidates to make infrastructure a priority in a future administration. More than 30 groups told the candidates that crumbling roads, bridges and highways necessitated reliable, long-term funding, and they would make themselves available to assist the new president in making that happen.
Thus far, infrastructure policy outlines from both the Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have been limited. Clinton said she has a five-year, $275 billion plan, which she'll send to Congress within the first 100 days of her administration, and Trump said he'll outspend her by double.