Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora joined a delegation to welcome U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to the Capital City and to participate in meetings regarding vital transportation projects in Trenton and throughout Mercer County.
During a set-aside meeting with the Secretary, Mayor Reed discussed several topics, including the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program and the opportunities associated with the realignment of NJ Route 29, and the city's historical challenges in capturing sufficient levels of state aid.
Mayor W. Reed Gusciora affirmed, "I look forward to further discussing this transportation project of critical importance to the Capital City with the U.S. Department of Transportation and I am thankful for the Secretary's time. Under his leadership, the United States has achieved the most significant investment in infrastructure in the history of our nation."
Mercer County, in partnership with State agencies and the City of Trenton, is applying for planning funds to overcome the many years of lost parkland, lost public riverfront access, lost economic development opportunities, lost quality of life, and lost public trust in government. The Reconnecting Communities Pilot Grant program, first offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation under U.S. Secretary Pete Buttigieg, was developed to reconnect communities that are cut off from assets and economic opportunities through transportation infrastructure.
NJ Route 29 was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s as a limited access, high-speed highway despite the opposition of residents, destroying a major riverfront park. The highway construction, coupled with a federally-funded urban renewal project, decimated a diverse and mixed-use neighborhood and the city's riverfront, setting the stage for decades of population decline.
Mayor Reed continued by stating, "Our administration, working closely with the Office of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, is working hard to make what has been the hope of so many Trentonians into a reality: Reclaiming our waterfront begins with working with our federal partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation to successfully make the case about this high-impact initiative."