Gateway Program Development Corp. names Cohen as 2020 chairman

GDC The Portal Bridge replacement project is part of the so-called Gateway Tunnel project.

The Gateway Program Development Corp. announced Thursday that Steven M. Cohen, trustee for the state of New York, has been named chairman for this year. He is succeeding Jerry Zaro, the New Jersey trustee who served as chair in 2019 and will be named treasurer for 2020.

The appointment is part of the Newark-based organization’s rotation of the chairman of the board of trustees between New Jersey and New York. Cohen last served as chairman in 2018. The commission consists of seven commissioners, three from New Jersey, three from New York and one from Amtrak. Anthony Coscia, trustee for Amtrak, will remain as vice chair of the GPDC.

“Our job is and has always been to do everything we can as Trustees to move Gateway forward. There simply isn’t time to waste in replacing and rehabilitating an outdated, increasingly flagging one-track-in, one-track-out rail system for the entire Northeast Corridor. Chairman Zaro led Gateway with extraordinary skill and determination during 2019, and the strength of our partnership will create a seamless transition to this year’s work,” Cohen said.

“I was honored to serve as chairman during 2019, and to oversee important advancements in our projects, particularly passing bi-state legislation so the Gateway Commission can truly achieve our mission. This is a partnership that works when it is hand in hand between New Jersey, New York and Amtrak, and rotating leadership is part of advancing that partnership. Chairman Cohen was an outstanding chair during 2018 and will assuredly be so again in 2020. We are in good hands,” Zaro said.

“Demonstrated leadership in Steve Cohen and Jerry Zaro has proven to be a critical element in advancing Gateway, and I know Steve will continue to effectively guide these vital projects forward. The bottom line is the busiest part of the entire Northeast Corridor must be brought up to 21st Century standards to relieve a century old bottleneck and allow this region and our nation to grow. We’ll keep working hard with New Jersey, New York and our Federal partners to keep the most urgent infrastructure projects in the country moving forward,” Coscia said.

In 2020, the trustees will focus on several areas to move projects, including the Hudson Tunnel and Portal Bridge projects, toward full construction.