Above: Gottheimer at the Oradell Avenue Veterans Memorial Bridge.
ORADELL, NJ — Today, January 27, 2021, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) visited the Oradell Avenue Veterans Memorial Bridge, which goes over the Hackensack River, to highlight how New Jersey will claw back more than $1.14 billion in investment over the next five years from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill— to help fix structurally deficient bridges susceptible to collapse, like this one. The federal investment will help improve commutes and safety for North Jersey residents, create jobs, and grow the economy.
Gottheimer helped shape and pass the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, along with the Problem Solvers Caucus, which he Co-Chairs, and a group of Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate.
In addition to the $1.14 billion to fix New Jersey’s bridges, the Garden State will receive major investments for repairing roads, building the Gateway Tunnel, electric vehicle infrastructure, broadband, clean water, public transportation, and climate resilience.
“Everyday, 365 days a year, residents of Oradell and the region cross this bridge. 25,000 people everyday — they all have to cross over this 118-year-old bridge. It’s structurally deficient and functionally obsolete — just like a third of the bridges throughout New Jersey. There’s a reason why I put this on my list to the Governor, saying that funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill should be used to fix this bridge,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “The bottom line is: I’ve been pushing very hard, with the county, community, and towns, to make sure this bridge and bridges like this one get replaced. That’s what the $1.14 billion for New Jersey in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is all about — making our communities safer and saving taxpayer money.”
The Oradell Avenue Veterans Memorial Bridge spans over the Hackensack River, and is a key juncture in the community that more than over 25,000 people cross each day, on average. The existing bridge is 118 years old and its superstructure is in such poor condition that the NJ Department of Transportation has rated the bridge as there “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.”
Furthermore, the bridge is also “fracture critical,” meaning that, because of deterioration and age, the structure of the bridge has a lack of redundancy and is susceptible to collapse, should any individual component fail. Due to the structure being interconnected, nothing could interrupt a serial collapse.
Work on determining the best path forward for the Oradell Avenue Bridge has already begun and a final report by Bergen County, in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and the NJ Department of Transportation, will reportedly be available this summer.
Gottheimer was joined today by Oradell Council President Tracey Schoenberg, NJ Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, Bergen County Commissioner and President of Bergen County Commissioner and President of IBEW#164l Tom Sullivan, President of Bergen County Central Trades and Labor Council Mike Schneider, Bergen County Commissioner Mary Amoroso, Park Ridge Mayor Keith Misciagna, Oradell Councilmember Miriam Yu, South Amboy Councilman and Union Representative for Dockbuilders/Timberman Local Union 1556 Brian McLaughlin, and members of Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 25.
Watch today’s press conference here.