TRUMP'S TRANSPORTATION PLAN AND ITS IMPACT ON NEW JERSEY
What does a $1.94 billion capital plan buy in road and bridge construction? The New Jersey Department of Transportation has several massive ongoing projects under way to build new bridges, rehabilitate existing spans and to uncomplicate some complicated interchanges between major highways.
Click here to read the full story from Larry Higgs, NJ Advance Media.
AMERICAN WATER BUILDING UNDERWAY IN CAMDEN
Construction has begun on the future site of American Water Co. headquarters along the Delaware River.
Nearly 700 employees will call the five-story, 220,000-square-foot building home when it opens late next year.
The American Water building and other development on the waterfront have been hailed as significant steps toward the rebirth of the city.
Christine D'Agostino, Vice President of Operations for the Carpenter Contractor Trust was recognized by NJ BIZ as one of 2017's Best 50 Women in Business.
New York American Water announced it has named Carmen Tierno its new President, effective March 1, 2017.
George Pallas has been named Managing Partner of Cohen, Seglias, Pallas, Greenhall & Furman
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SOUTH JERSEY PIPELINE WINS APPROVAL FROM PINELANDS COMMISSION
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission has approved a construction of the B.L. England natural gas pipeline from Millville to an energy plant in Upper Township in Cape May. The 9-5 vote, with one abstention, came as environmental protesters held signs and called on commissioners to vote no.
The 22-mile pipeline will run mostly under existing Routes 49 and 50 from Estell Manor to Beesleys Point, with about 15 miles traveling through the Pinelands and requiring the commission's approval.
South Jersey Gas says the pipeline is needed to reinforce the supply system for 142,000 customers in South Jersey. Right now, only one natural gas pipeline services those customers.
"Our recommendation carefully balances the energy demands of 142,000 customers in Cape May and Atlantic counties, and protects and creates jobs while operating responsibly within the Pinelands," said Jeff DuBois, South Jersey Industry's executive vice president and COO, in a Jan. 23 press release.
SJI said the project will also help the electric-generating facility B.L. England convert from coal and oil to cleaner-burning natural gas. DuBois said the project would make the facility one of the cleanest power plants in the state.
TAJ MAHAL TO REOPEN AS HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
Carl Icahn, Owner of the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City announced that a group of investors, led by Hard Rock International, have agreed to buy the property.
The deal could bring 3,000 temporary and permanent jobs to the city.
The property will be known as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, said the company will invest $300 million in the property
Alliance for Action members and friends are grieving yesterday's passing of Jamie Fox. The long-time political leader's career spanned four decades. He was Governor McGreevey's Chief of Staff and Transportation Commissioner and came back years later to work as DOT Commissioner under Governor Christie. Fox also worked for Senators Frank Lautenberg, Jon Corzine and Bob Torricelli. Alliance for Action President Phil Beachem said Fox was "One of the guys you could always count on to be fair and give you a straight answer. And despite the importance of the issues he was working on, he never took himself too seriously."
Caren Franzini who was a leader in economic development for public and private programs for two decades, passed away in late January. She headed the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) from 1994 to 2012.
Alliance President Philip K. Beachem, noted that Franzini was a member of the Alliance for Action Board of Directors and said she was in the forefront of helping to finance and encourage development projects in New Jersey's cities as well as small businesses and communities.
Beachem went on to say that she worked cooperatively with the Alliance to bring her competency and experience to infrastructure projects that served the economy and quality of life for the state's residents.
NEW JERSEY'S LEADING INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS TAKE CENTER STAGE
The Alliance for Action honored nineteen innovative, pioneering and landmark construction initiatives at its sixth annual New Jersey's Leading Infrastructure Projects awards program. Alliance President Philip K. Beachem said the awarded projects included transportation, healthcare, utility, beach nourishment, education and retail initiatives, including:
Absecon Island Beach Nourishment Project
Atlantic City Electric's High Street Substation & Transmission Improvement Project
JCP&L's Englishtown-Wyckoff Street Transmission Line Project
Middlesex County Utilities Authority's Sayreville Pump Station Storm Damage Project
Hahne & Company Building Development Project in Newark
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New Jersey American Water's Oak Glen Water Treatment Plant
NJIT's Wellness and Events Center Project
One Theater Square in Newark Project
Port Newark Berth 14 Reconstruction Project
PSE&G's Gas System Modernization Program
PSEG Power Sewaren Generating Station Project
Middlesex County Utilities Authority's Edison Pump Station Storm Damage Project
Route 280 & Route 21 Interchange Project
Rowan Boulevard Phase A-3 Project
Rutgers University's Camden Nursing & Science Building Project
Stevens Institute Academic Gateway Project
Stockton University - Atlantic City Gateway Project
Trenton Central High School Project
LG BREAKS GROUND FOR $300 MILLION HEADQUARTERS CAMPUS
LG Electronics North America has broken ground on its much anticipated $300 million new North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs.
LG says the 350,000 square foot campus project will feature four and five story wings, create 2,000 construction jobs and allow the firm to double its local employment by more than 1,000 people by 2019.
NJ AMERICAN WATER INVESTS $5.8M IN MORRIS, SOMERSET AND UNION COUNTIES
New Jersey American Water said it will invest $5.8 million in new water mains in Morris, Somerset and Union counties.
Some of the soon-to-be-replaced pipes were installed more than 90 years ago.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
American Water announced it has named Robert MacLean President of New Jersey American Water and Senior Vice President of its Eastern division, effective March 1. MacLean will replace William Varley, who was recently appointed Senior Vice President of American Water's Midwest division.
KyuJung Whang, has been named Princeton University's next Vice President for Facilities.
Gannett Fleming has named Paul D. Nowicki, PE, as president and chief operating officer.
Boswell Engineering has promoted Joseph A. Pomante, P.E. to Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.
Armand Corporation, a construction management firm celebrating its 25th year in business, has moved its New Jersey headquarters to the City of Camden.
David Shulkin, former President of Morristown Medical Center and former Vice President of Atlantic Health System, has been named Secretary of Veterans Affairs by President Trump.
Stokes Creative Group, Inc. has announced that five employees have been awarded partial ownership of the South Jersey public relations firm: Diane Konopka, Operations and Personnel Manager; Matthew Touhey, Production Manager; Patty Egan, Business Development Manager; Qiao Wu, Project Manager for the Tappan Zee Bridge project; and Sam Capri, Chief Operations Officer.
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PORT AUTHORITY BOARD APPROVES LARGEST EVER $32.2 BILLION 10-YEAR CAPITAL PLAN
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners have approved the agency's largest ever $32.2 billion 2017-2026 Capital Plan, which is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in overall economic activity for the region.
The plan calls for $11.6 billion in major redevelopment airport projects, $10 billion in tunnel (including the Gateway Tunnel), bridges and terminal work, money to begin planning for a new bus terminal, funds for a PATH extension and other critical upgrades.
The plan's multi-billion investment is expected to result in the creation of 235,400 job years, $20 billion in total wages and $56 billion in overall economic activity.
HOLTEC BEGINS MOVING STAFF FROM MARLTON TO CAMDEN WATERFRONT
Holtec International, the energy technology company, announced it will begin relocating staff from its Marlton location to a new $312 million campus on the Camden waterfront.
The company reported the new location will have a 600,000-square-foot manufacturing and technology center that will house nearly 400 employees. In 2014, Holtec received approval from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority for up to $200 million in incentives for the move.
The PennEast Pipeline project has received a key water quality certification from the state of Pennsylvania. This is the second government agency to find that PennEast Pipeline can be constructed with minimal impacts on the environment. You can read the news by visiting this link.
While we await federal approval of the project to deliver lower-cost, cleaner-burning and more reliable natural gas to local families and businesses, it's imperative that your elected officials hear from Alliance for Action members. Click here for more information.
VOTERS APPROVE $85M FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
On January 24, 2017, voters approved school construction proposals totaling nearly $85 million in four districts, 100% of the proposed projects. All were eligible for state funding to cover part of the cost. The projects are in Weehawken, East Amwell Township, Manasquan and Pinelands Regional School District.
NEWARK TO REDEVELOP AROUND PRU CENTER DOWNTOWN AREA
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced a plan to redevelop a downtown 22-acre site at the foot of the Prudential Center.
The project will include a park, retail and commercial space. Through reuse of a warehouse along McCarter Highway, it will connect the popular Ironbound area to Newark Penn Station.
Baraka reported that Mulberry Commons has received more than $100 million from private investors and expects to receive an additional $10 million in public funding
NJ TRANSIT APPROVES ADDITIONAL $32.5M FOR RAIL SAFETY SYSTEM
Implementation of a Positive Train Control, a federally funded rail safety system, cleared another hurdle when NJ Transit officials approved a new $32 million expenditure.
The additional funding will help Parsons Transportation Group run a second shift order to install the $320 million system by the December 2018 deadline.
Positive Train Control is a computer and radio system that slows or stops a train if the operator fails to obey signals or speed limits. Some of the costs will be reimbursed by Metro North and freight railroads, which use NJ Transit tracks.
BPU REPORT ON 2016 RESULTS AND 2017 CHALLENGES ISSUED
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has issued its report on major accomplishments of 2016 and the challenges of 2017. The reports on 2016 overview and 2017 focus were issued by BPU President Richard Mroz.
Mroz reported that progress in 2016 continued on the New Jersey Energy Master Plan and the decrease in retail electric prices. He said natural gas prices have dropped and stated that 2016 included infrastructure improvement programs, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. He stressed that future challenges include a busy docket of rate cases and financial viability of our utility companies.
Blue Apron, a leading fresh meal kit delivery company based in New York City, announced plans to expand its operations and employ over 2,000 people in New Jersey, with the construction and opening of a new 495,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Linden later this year.
BARNABAS AND RUTGERS PARTNER ON SPORTS MEDICINE FACILITY
Ground was broken for the RWJBarnabas Athletic Performance Center that will provide Rutgers' over 625 NCAA Intercollegiate athletes with an extensive array of health care services. The new facility will be adjacent to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) in Piscataway.
Barnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky and Rutgers President Robert Barchi led the ceremony. The facility is scheduled for completion by July 2019.
$47M AWARDED TO RENOVATE HISTORIC TRAIN STATION IN PERTH AMBOY
NJ Transit has committed nearly $47 million for renovations and improvements to the Perth Amboy station, located on the North Jersey Coast Line. Many of the improvements will focus on improving accessibility to people with disabilities.
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ALLIANCE HOSTS CELEBRATE TTF
State Transportation Commissioner Rick Hammer says New Jersey is moving fast to take advantage of the recent 23 cent gas tax. Speaking at the Alliance for Action's "Celebrate TTF" event, Hammer said voter action to constitutionally dedicate all gas tax proceeds allows the state to fully fund a $16 billion 8 year capital plan - which will be matched by $16 million in federal funds.
Before an audience of some 200, recognition and appreciation awards were presented to representatives of public and private organizations which worked to renew the State Transportation Trust Fund (TTF).
Alliance President Philip K. Beachem said it took the coordinated efforts of business, labor, professionals, government and non-profit sectors to overcome opposition.
Also speaking at the event, NJ Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and State Senator Steve Oroho agreed that the bill would not have been successful without the bi-partisan coalition that worked on the issue.
NJDOT FY 2017 CAPITAL PROGRAM
NJDOT Commissioner Rick Hammer has announced that the NJDOT FY 2017 Capital program will be increased by $100 million. The $100 million increase will be in the Department's CPM program.
The Operations/Maintenance Program will remain at $150 million. This brings the total FY Capital Program to $1.050 billion.
GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR DOWNTOWN NEWARK HIGH RISE
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in downtown Newark for a twenty-two story high rise across the street from the New Jersey Performance Arts Center. The project was first proposed more than a decade ago to expand on the success of the arts center.
Named One Theatre Square, the $116 million project will have 245 apartments, 12,000-square-feet of ground floor retail space, a fitness center, meeting rooms, and an outdoor deck. The building will have mostly one and two-bedroom apartments as well as studios and three-bedroom units. There will be a 285-space parking garage.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
Carlo Scissura, was named President and CEO of the New York Building Congress.
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The Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority is receiving funding for a $5.2 million project for upgrades and repairs to a sludge incinerator at the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority.
The project is part of legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie in August through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust to fund more than $411 million in improvements statewide, including $19 million for clean water projects in Somerville and Hillsborough.
The upgrades will bring the Raritan Valley facility up to federal air emission guidelines and allow for the continued treatment of wastewater at the site.
AMTRAK SETS REVENUE, RIDERSHIP RECORDS IN FISCAL 2016
It was a strong year for Amtrak, as the nation's passenger railroad set records for ticket revenue and number of riders, while posting its lowest operating loss in more than 40 years.
Amtrak says its ticket revenue for fiscal 2016, which ended Sept. 30, reached $2.14 billion, up $12 million over fiscal 2015. Amtrak served 31.3 million passengers for the year, up more than 400,000 from fiscal 2015 and the sixth straight year the railroad has served more than 30 million customers.
"The results demonstrate the value we deliver to our customers and the vital role Amtrak plays in our nation's transportation system," Board Chairman Anthony Coscia said in a prepared statement. "We are off to another strong start for the new fiscal year and will provide a great travel experience for customers who choose Amtrak in the upcoming holiday season."
Amtrak said its ticket sales and other revenues covered 94 percent of operating costs, up from 92 percent in fiscal 2015. Total revenue came in at a record $3.2 billion, while the operating loss of $227 million was $78 million smaller than the year before and the lowest operating loss since 1973.
Among the Amtrak services that saw record ridership and revenue were the Northeast Regional and Keystone lines, which both serve the New York region.
Amtrak also said it will invest in improvements that include the creation of the Moynihan Station in New York City, as well as other major investments and developments in Philadelphia and elsewhere.
Six school districts held special school elections on November 8 to vote on construction proposals.
A total of $39.5 million was approved for the Mullica Township, Lyndhurst, North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional and Long Branch school districts.