Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) this morning to outline an upcoming infrastructure project on Route 206, wrapping up his visit to New Jersey after yesterday’s events with Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).
“What we see here is the chance to show, on the ground, what all this infrastructure work is really going to lead to,” Buttigieg said today from a booth at the Pandora Diner in Springfield. “Being on the ground here in New Jersey, seeing what it means to the people who rely on us, really reminds us why we’re doing this in the first place, and it helps me advocate for the conservation of those dollars. .moving smoothly and quickly.
Buttigieg and Kim, who have been friends for decades after studying together as Rhodes Scholars, both highlighted the role that last year’s funding bipartisan infrastructure bill will have. In a few weeks, Kim said, some of that money will be used to fix a strange and potentially dangerous intersection between Route 206 and County Road 537.
“You can draw a direct link between what we’ve passed in Congress bipartisanly and what’s going to be fixed in the community,” Kim said. “In a couple of weeks or so, we should be innovating here, and that’s the kind of progress people want to see.
Buttigieg’s congressional visits yesterday also focused on funding for existing and future transportation infrastructure in New Jersey. Malinowski lobbied for funds to make NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line run smoother; Gottheimer visited the Port of Newark and discussed solutions to the supply chain crisis; Sherrill held a town hall meeting at the County College of Morris; and Payne hosted a roundtable on federal contracts with minority-owned businesses.
Notably, the five members of Congress who have met with Buttigieg face potentially competitive offers for re-election, Payne in a primary and the other four in the general election. As Democrats prepare for a potentially deadly midterm, many are running heavily on the infrastructure bill they helped pass, and Buttigieg’s visit reinforces that message.
“Here in New Jersey, infrastructure is our lifeblood,” Kim said today. “It’s important for people to see that the government is going to meet their needs and deliver to their cities…I know that certainly makes me proud to have played a part in getting these excavators in place.”