Rep. Sherrill Votes to Pass INVEST in America Act
Washington, DC — Today, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) voted to pass the INVEST in America Act, a comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization bill that includes $547 billion to complete projects across the country to fix, improve, and maintain the nation's rail network, roads, bridges, and highways. The legislation makes crucial investments in America’s passenger rail financing system, with a particular focus on large projects of national significance such as the Gateway Project and includes local projects submitted by Rep. Sherrill. Alongside the Administration's recent approval of the Hudson River Tunnel’s Environmental Impact Statement, this bill would finally make the completion of Gateway a reality.
“I could not be prouder to vote for the INVEST in America Act today,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This reauthorization bill would finally provide the funding that is so critically needed to complete the Gateway Project, would be crucial in our overall efforts to address the nation's infrastructure crisis, and would be particularly meaningful in the NJ-11 communities where projects will be funded through this legislation. Not only would this bill help fix our roads and highways, it would directly create good paying jobs throughout our communities and ensure that we’re on the path to maintaining the United States’ competitiveness as we confront the challenges ahead.”
The bill includes numerous projects being conducted across all four counties of NJ-11 that were championed by Rep. Sherrill through the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s drafting process. These NJ-11 projects include bridge and roadway improvements, railroad design and construction, and vehicle purchases for public transit operators. The full list includes:
- The replacement of Morris County Bridge 1400-433 on Bloomfield Avenue over a Tributary to Passaic River in the Township of Montville;
- Bloomfield Avenue Improvements;
- McBride Avenue Roundabout Improvements;
- Study and design engineering for Bridge K‐03 carrying County Route 607 (River Styx Road) over Styx River / Lake Hopatcong in the Borough of Hopatcong;
- The repair of the Pompton River Rail Bridge (Pequannock Valley Pedestrian Trail);
- Bloomfield Rehabilitation Project - ADA Improvements;
- Highlands Rail Trail Phase II design and construction;
- Sussex County Skylands Ride Transportation Improvement; and
- The replacement of Morris County Bridge 1400-935 on Lenape Trail Road over Indian Lake in the Township of Denville.
In March, Rep. Sherrill led 13 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio advocating for significant funding for Gateway in this surface transportation bill. These requests were each included in the INVEST in America Act, at either the asked-for funding level or above, and will make a significant impact on the ability of Gateway to receive timely funding to begin the construction process. These requests included:
- $29 billion for Amtrak (with $13 billion going to the Northeast Corridor) - the INVEST in America Act includes $32 billion for Amtrak (with $13.5 billion for the Northeast Corridor);
- $19 billion for the Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization, and Expansion (PRIME) grant program - the INVEST in America Act includes $25 billion for PRIME;
- $9 billion for the Projects of National and Regional Significance grant program - the INVEST in America Act includes $12 billion for this program; and
- $7 billion for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program - the INVEST in America Act includes $7 billion for CRISI.
Last year, Rep. Sherrill also introduced an amendment to H.R. 2 (the Moving Forward Act) that would unlock critical funding for passenger rail projects through the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) program by increasing federal payments for RRIF’s credit risk premium by $50 million per year. The amendment passed the House and was included in H.R. 2. This year, the INVEST in America Act includes this funding increase of $50 million per year for the RRIF’s credit risk premium. This provision will make passenger rail funding more accessible for critical projects throughout the nation, including Gateway.