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WNYC News

Cuba Announcement Continues to Send Ripples Through New Jersey

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NJ Spotlight
If you think Washington is divided over Obama's new Cuba policy, check out how much disagreement there is between Cuban-Americans and their relatives back home.  

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New Jersey News

Ongoing Questions in Menendez Saga

Monday, February 11, 2013

WNYC

Questions continue to dog New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez about his relationship with his friend and campaign donor, Doctor Salomon Melgen.

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New Jersey News

Menendez Ethics Review Could Take Months

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

WNYC

The Senate Ethics committee is looking at whether Senator Bob Menendez acted improperly when he failed to disclose gifts from a political donor who is under investigation by the FBI.

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Transportation Nation

Hurricane Sandy was "Largest Mass Transit Disaster in our Nation's History," Says Senator

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Snapped catenary poles on NJ Transit's Gladstone line (photo courtesy of NJ Transit)

At an emotional hearing today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, senators representing storm-damaged states described the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said his state was the "epicenter" of the storm. He listed Sandy's toll upon New Jersey -- 39 dead, 231,000 homes and businesses damaged. And included in his list: the impact of the storm upon the region's transit system.

"The storm was the largest mass transit disaster in our nation's history. Four out of 10 of the nation's transit riders had their commutes disrupted by the storm, many still today," said Menendez. "NJ Transit alone had dozens of locomotives and rail cars damaged in the flooding and miles and miles of tracks damaged."

NJ Transit still has a rail line that is not operational, and the Port Authority says it will be weeks before it can restore Hoboken service on its trans-Hudson PATH train line.

New Jersey is requesting $37 billion in federal disaster aid, of which $1.35 billion would go to transit, roads and bridges.

Watch the archived hearing here.

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Transportation Nation

PHOTOS: Hurricane Damage Devastates NJ Transit

Thursday, November 01, 2012


The totality of the damage done to New Jersey Transit by Hurricane Sandy can't be fully ascertained at this point, but the list on the agency's website is daunting.

Rail lines have suffered catastrophically: washouts, downed trees, waterlogged equipment, and track damage. The iconic Hoboken Ferry Terminal is flooded. The agency reports that even the Rail Operations Center--"the central nervous system of the railroad"--is engulfed in water. Although most bus service returned Thursday, nine of its bus garages continue to operate on back-up generator power. And in a letter requesting federal aid, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez write: "the only passenger rail tunnel into New York City—which connects thousands of people to the city each day—is shut down."

Earlier this week, Governor Christie said it could take seven to 10 days to resume PATH train service.

There is no timeline for resumption of rail service. The agency says it is continuing to inspect the system and that "the blow delivered by Hurricane Sandy will continue to impact customers for days to come."

 

 

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Transportation Nation

Trans-Hudson Tunnel Awarded Another $20 Million -- If Congress Okays It

Thursday, April 19, 2012

(photo courtesy of Senator Lautenberg)

A new trans-Hudson tunnel got a $20 million vote of confidence Thursday -- but it remains to be seen whether it will win approval in political environment riven by dissent over transportation funding.

The Gateway tunnel project-- deemed "absolutely critical" by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a hearing last month -- was proposed last year as an alternative to the ARC tunnel, a similar project cancelled by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2010.

According to Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who 's trying to bring a new rail tunnel to fruition, Gateway is expected to increase Amtrak and NJ Transit's capacity into New York by 65 percent.

Both New Jersey senators have thrown their support behind the project. “The Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state's transportation crisis,” said Lautenberg in an emailed statement. Senator Robert Menendez, also quoted in the email, added: “We are at capacity on all Hudson River crossings, so the Gateway Project is simply essential to New Jersey’s economic growth and for our commuters."

Lautenberg is smarting over the ARC tunnel. At a Senate hearing yesterday, he testily asked a Port Authority executive: "Why did the administration that we have in office now cancel $6 billion worth of money that we raised through this place to build a tunnel and get 22,000 cars off the road?"

If the $20 million wins full Senate approval, Amtrak will have a total of $35 million to begin design and engineering work on Gateway. In November 2011, the Senate approved $15 million for the project. Amtrak had initially requested $50 million for a design and engineering study.

 

 

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