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.
2/28/17 - Hudson County Alliance for Action, click here to register.
3/9/17 - Getting The Work Out with NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steven Santoro, click here to register.
3/24/17 - Where the Work Is!, click here to register.
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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12/5/16 - Pipelines for Prosperity, register here.
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.
The eagerly anticipated Construction Forecast Seminar will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1.
Leaders of 25-30 private and public construction agencies will give a one-of-a-kind report on their capital plans at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe. The insider information will be made to a sellout audience of business, government and labor representatives. Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. and the presentations at 9:00 a.m.
Reports will range over a wide variety of projects from private and independent to state colleges and universities, local schools to transportation.
"WHERE THE WORK IS!" CITES BILLIONS IN CAPITAL INVESTMENTS
More than two hundred business and labor executives got a key update on billions of dollars worth of work at New Jersey's regional authorities. The New Jersey Alliance for Action's "Where the Work Is" conference focused on infrastructure, construction, maintenance and repairs needed in the tri-state area.
Gerald T. Keenan, Alliance Executive Vice President, stressed that the income for infrastructure projects does more than offer a direct impact to New Jerseys' economic health and that both provide improvements to the overall quality of life.
James Starace, Chief Engineer of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, cited the Port Authority's ten-year capital plan.
Len Rustam, Engineering Program Manager for the Delaware River Port Authority, reported on the status of projects for the Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry Bridges and the Patco High Speed Line.
Roy Little, Chief Engineer of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, reminded the audience that the Scudder Falls project will provide for substantial completion of the $20 million Stage 1 in 2018.
John Rotolo, Chief Engineer of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, cited Superstorm Sandy damage for the need to repair a power plant at $118 million and the flood wall at $75 million.
Assistant Chief Engineer Dave Hoppenjans reported on repairs by the Delaware River and Bay Authority estimated at $404 million until at least 2021.
BOUND BROOK FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT IS CELEBRATED
Completion in Bound Brook of the $143 million flood mitigation project was hailed as both a financial boom and safety protection for community and its residents. Governor Chris Christie said the project, which spanned nearly 17 years, will produce immediate benefits.
Bound Brook sustained $2.5 billion in flood damages and eight deaths over the last century. Christie stressed that the project marked a commitment by all levels of government and is part of a larger flood plan to protect the region.
The federal government covered 75 percent of the cost of the project and the rest was split between the state and local funding.
The NJ Alliance worked for well over a decade along with the Green Brook Flood Control Commission, various congressional members, freeholders and local officials in getting federal and state support for this project.
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON ONE THEATRE SQUARE IN NEWARK
Construction began on One Theatre Square in downtown Newark, a $116 million, twenty-two story high-rise residential development. When completed in 2018, the building will sit directly across from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (PAC) and Military Park.
Plans call for the building to feature 245 units, 12,000 feet of retail on the first floor, and a rooftop parking garage.
HUDSON TUNNELS GAIN FEDERAL OPTIMISM
A more optimistic timetable for construction of two Hudson River rail tunnels was provided recently by a major federal official.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx reported that the project has been designated a priority for accelerated environmental and permitting review toward a 2019 beginning. He said the designation could shave a year or more off development time.
Speaking at a news conference in Penn Station, New York, Foxx did not offer details of how the cost would be paid by New Jersey, New York and the federal government.
With the new gas tax approved by the state Legislature and Governor Christie, officials can now move forward on Department of Transportation Capital work.
The new legislation will fund an historic eight year, $16 billion Transportation Trust Fund financing plan to repair bridge, road and transit improvements infrastructure. .
Be there for Celebrate TTF, the NJ Statewide Transportation Conference when we honor the people and groups who succeeded in making the case for the TTF renewal. Our featured speaker will be NJ DOT Commissioner Rick Hammer.
The completed Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study Summary Report and Appendices were posted to the Port Authority's website. Below are the links to the Summary Report and Appendices. The Appendices provide supporting documentation encompassing the following topics:
A - Interstate Bus Network - Operational and Service Strategies
Bell Works has its latest tenant: Jersey Central Power & Light, which is moving its central New Jersey regional headquarters to the Holmdel office complex next year.
The utility, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy that serves 1.1 million people in the Garden State, said it has signed a 10-year lease for 64,000 square feet at the four-building, 2 million-square-foot former Bell Labs complex at 101 Crawfords Corner Road.
JCP&L's lease at its current Red Bank regional headquarters expires next year. Nearly 200 engineering, billing, human resources, outage restoration and support staff, as well as management, will be moving by early summer 2017, the utility said.
JCP&L said a major part of the relocation effort is moving its central region dispatch office, including the system operators and support staff who monitor the electric system and dispatch personnel as needed in the event of a service interruption.
HACKENSACK UMC TOPS US NEWS RANKING OF NEW JERSEY HOSPITALS
Hackensack University Medical Center was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top in New Jersey and fourth in the New York region.
Other top three rankings were Morristown Medical Center and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The rankings were based on a variety of patient outcomes and career-related factors such as patient safety and nurse staffing.
ALLERGAN TO USE EDA INCENTIVES FOR NEW MADISON HQ
Over $58 million in state incentives will be used by Dublin-based Allergan to consolidate current New Jersey based operations and develop a new US headquarters in Madison by the end of 2017.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority voted to approve Allergen for a 10-year $58.2 million Grow New Jersey Award. Allergan currently maintains its U.S. headquarters in Parsippany and also has offices in Bridgewater, Jersey City and Rockaway. Allergan said it is attracted by New Jersey's Vibrant health care ecosystem."
NOVO NORDISK HEADQUARTERS SOLD FOR $305 MILLION
Novo Nordisk's North American headquarters in Plainsboro was sold for $305 million to a Korean investment firm. The brokerage firm of Cushman & Wakefield said it was the largest single asset sale in New Jersey to date in 2016.
FORMER AT&T HEADQUARTERS IS SOLD
The 400,000-square-foot office building in Morris Township that once served as a regional headquarters for AT&T has been sold. The new owners reported that they intend to reposition the building known as Kemblel Plaza I at 340 Mount Kemble Avenue.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
Kevin Zavaglia was appointed by Verizon Wireless as President of its northeast market which is headquartered in Morristown and oversees business functions in the ten-state market including New Jersey and New York.
Christopher Porrino was confirmed by the State Senate as New Jersey's Attorney General. Porrino had been serving since June as acting attorney general.
Dr. Bernard McSherry was named NJ City University's founding dean of the NJCU School of Business.
Kenneth R. Fulmer, P.E., was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Engineers.