Kris Kolluri, a longtime leader in transportation and economic development in New Jersey, has been nominated to serve as the CEO of the Gateway Development Commission — the organization tasked with overseeing the creation of a new Hudson River Tunnel as well as the redevelopment of the Portal North Bridge.
The nomination was announced jointly by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. It will be considered at the commission’s next board meeting, May 16. There is no reason at this time to think there will be an objection.
Kolluri, who currently serves as the CEO of Camden Community Partnership — an economic and community development nonprofit — has numerous years of experience in transportation, including serving as the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation from 2006-08. During his time there, he played an instrumental role in helping develop a funding strategy to meet New Jersey’s contribution toward the ARC project, a previous version of the Gateway Tunnel, which ultimately was not approved.
Kolluri said he is hopeful for the opportunity.
“I look forward to meeting the commissioners and supporting their important work,” he said. “There is a clear and present opportunity and desire among federal, state, and bistate partners to advance the Hudson Tunnel Project and the Gateway Program.
“In the short term, the HTP is poised to move forward, and the commission has a critical role in overseeing the successful delivery of this project. Should my candidacy be approved by the commissioners, I commit to being singularly focused on ensuring that this collaborative effort results in HTP’s fruition.”
The announcement is the latest in positive steps on the project, including:
- The Portal North Bridge issued a Notice to Proceed to move to full construction;
- The Hudson Tunnel Project was allocated $100 million in President Joe Biden’s administration’s Fiscal 2023 budget request;
- The tunnel project received a higher rating from the Federal Transit Administration in the Capital Investment Grant process, allowing it to qualify for federal grant funding.
Murphy said Kolluri is the person to keep the momentum going.
“Moving the Gateway Program, and, specifically, the Hudson Tunnel Project, forward is critically important for our region, and I am confident that Kris Kolluri’s leadership will help us realize these much-needed projects,” he said.
“Kris has years of infrastructure management and operations experience, as well as years of government experience, that will be vital as we continue working with our federal partners to get the Gateway Program fully funded and completed. I thank Gov. Hochul for her partnership in selecting a nominee who will help advance these critical projects.”
Before becoming CEO of the Camden Community Partnership, Kolluri served as the CEO of the joint Rowan University/Rutgers–Camden Board of Governors. Prior to that, he served as counsel at the law firm of Windels Marx Lane and Mittendorf, where he advised clients on transportation and economic development matters.
Kolluri has a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers-Camden and a law degree from Georgetown University. He lives in Haddonfield.