April 15, 2022

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Highways, Civil Works Among Winners in $1.5T Omnibus 

President Biden recently signed the $1.5-trillion omnibus federal spending package and it opens the door for state transportation agencies to finally gain access to the full funding increases for highway and transit programs authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. About 20% of the monies of the IIJA passed last November have not been accessible because a long-term spending plan had not been approved at the same time.

Rebuilt Roseville Tunnel Will Bring Commuter Rail Option to Northwest New Jersey

NJ TRANSIT's board of directors has approved a $32 million contract to rebuild the tunnel in Byram Township. It also includes related drainage and culvert work. It is part of the Lackawanna cutoff project that will provide new commuter rail service to northwest Jersey. It could pave the way for Amtrak trains to eventually run to Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Roseville Tunnel is part of the larger $62 million Lackawanna Cutoff project. The overall Lackawanna Cutoff project would restore passenger rail service between Port Morris and Andover, and build a new rail station in Andover. All that work could be completed in late 2026.

Another Funding Source for Gateway Tunnel?

The National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, known as “MEGA”, would cover 50% of the costs of major construction projects of national or regional significance. It’s intended to help fund initiatives too large or too complex to receive funding under traditional transportation programs. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg has stated he expects the Gateway Tunnel to be an applicant for this supplemental funding; he toured the tunnels personally in 2021.

Newark Moves Forward on Water Plant Upgrades

Mayor Ras Baraka has launched $23 million in new upgrades at Newark’s Pequannock Water Treatment Plant in West Milford. When finished, the new systems will improve overall water quality and handle up to 60 million gallons per day. The project, also replacing obsolete equipment and backwash systems, is being financed by New Jersey I-Bank low-interest loan financing. 

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Alliance Members Stay “In The Know” with Our Programs and County Chapters 

The Alliance for Action recently put four key state government leaders in the same room to discuss how monies will be disbursed from the Federal Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA); over 350 attended. Alliance members have also recently heard from Representatives Malinowski, Gottheimer and Kim at our county chapter meetings. These congressional delegation members reported on how the IIJA will impact, respectively, Somerset, Bergen and Burlington Counties.

Catch up on all of our future programming at www.allianceforaction.com.

Mega Soccer Complex Proposed for Gloucester’s Harrison Township

A $485 million plan in Harrison Twp.’s Mullica Hill section proposes to build a huge youth athletic complex and soccer development facility with up to 60 artificial turf and grass fields. The proposal also includes two hotels and up to 200,000 square-feet of bars, restaurants and retail outlets. It’s proximate to both Rowan University facilities and Inspira Healthcare.

People and Companies on The Move


Governor Phil Murphy has announced his intent to nominate Carlos A. Medina, Esq, Kiabi Carson, and Evan Weiss to the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors; those appointments are subject to approval by the State Senate. He will also directly appoint Rashonda Brown and Karen Thomas to serve on the board as gubernatorial appointments.

Governor Phil Murphy has also nominated Dr. Zenon Christodoulou and former Burlington County Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg as Commissioners of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). They would replace Commissioners Diane Solomon and Upendra Chivukula.

Jennifer Keyes-Maloney is leaving her long-time role as Assistant State Treasurer to become new AVP for Government Relations at the College of New Jersey. She is also a TCNJ alum.

Mahen Gunaratna, Gov. Phil Murphy’s Communications director, will leave the administration on June 1. He will join Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the nation’s largest gun safety advocacy groups.

Matthew A. Ludwig, P.E. has joined Matrix New World as Director of Federal Services

He is former Supervisory Chief of the Construction Division of the New York District of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Karen Ashton, P.E. has joined Matrix New World as Federal Services Program Manager

She is former Deputy Chief of the Construction Division for the USACE NY District.


Jason Goldstein is now VP and National Practice Leader for Planning, Permitting and Licensing at TRC Companies.


Alliance member PS&S, based in Warren, has acquired the assets of B. Thayer Associates — a move that will help expand PS&S’ presence in the region, in this case, on to Long Island. The firm now has more than 300 employees in 10 offices in the Northeast, as well as in North Carolina and Texas.

Gilead Pharma intends to create an East Coast hub of operations in New Jersey that eventually will employ 500 people. The company currently is in Morris Plains from its 2020 purchase of Immunomedics..

NJ Alliance for Action | www.allianceforaction.com