Heavy and General Construction Laborers Local 472 and its 7,000 members in Northern and Central New Jersey have thrown their support behind the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 10-year capital plan and the proposed increase in tolls.
Local 472 members serve thousands of contractor/employers in the region and specializes in road and bridge construction, utility pipeline installation, tunneling, and general construction.
Tony Oliveira, Business Manger of Local 472 calls the Port Authority’s proposal an important and responsible investment in our region’s economy.
“It is easy to put together a an outline of urgent and important capital projects, but the Port Authority goes one step further than most and has a plan to pay for the upgrades and improvements. At a time when public entities burden future generations with too much debt, the Port Authority has developed a fair and common sense plan to pay for its capital projects,” said Oliveira.
Oliveira talked about how important these projects will be for the region’s mobility, economic competitiveness, safety, security, and quality of life. “There are few people who will argue with the need for these projects. Raising the Bayonne Bridge will mean a better drive for motorist and the chance to accommodate larger ships into our ports. The suspender cables for the George Washington Bridge are beyond their useful life. The tunnels desperately need upgrades, and expansion of the Port Authority Bus Terminal will actually reduce bus traffic while improving commuter service.”
Local 472 support was also based on the enormous job creation from the Port Authority’s capital plan. “With unemployment so high, it is difficult to ignore the 185,633 jobs that will be created on both sides of the Hudson,” said Oliveira.