Last week, Congress returned to Washington, D.C., to begin work on a laundry list of legislative items, including extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program, reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, reforming our tax code and fixing the immigration system.
In September, Congress is in session only 12 days, so while we recognize there is a lot to do in a short amount of time, we’d like to add one more item to Congress’ to-do list this fall: the passage of a transformative transportation infrastructure spending package.
Earlier this year, the CEO Council for Growth developed a plan identifying nine key infrastructure investment areas that will accelerate development, catalyze job growth, and transform our region. The plan in its entirety can be found at www.ceocouncilforgrowth.com.
The strategy calls for improvements to our global gateways by investing in the Northeast Corridor and our intercity passenger rail stations at 30th Street Station, Newark, Trenton and a new station at Philadelphia International Airport. In addition, it seeks to maximize the benefit of the Delaware River Deepening Project by improving direct access to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal at Interstate 95.
Another strategy emphasizes the advancement of the 30th Street District Plan and Schuylkill Yards development. The group of projects includes upgrades to the ramps along I-76, improvements to the Civic Center Boulevard, and the Schuylkill River bridges from University Avenue to Spring Garden Street. The plan also calls for the addition of a Market-Frankford line station at 20th Street to support continued growth of Center City west.
This blueprint for growth also proposes to extend the Norristown High-Speed Line to better connect the King of Prussia, Center City and University City employment hubs; transform Roosevelt Boulevard to improve safety and efficiency; expand mass transit services at the Navy Yard to further accelerate commercial development; make upgrades at the Walter Rand Transportation Center to speed private investment at the Camden waterfront; and integrate neighborhoods currently divided by the Vine Street Expressway to reconnect isolated communities.
These new transportation investments must be made to accommodate and accelerate our outstanding development. The future of our region rests in large part on our ability to both secure infrastructure spending and activate new, innovative ways to direct more local resources to help rebuild and strengthen our communities.
The CEO Council for Growth looks forward to working with the administration and our regional congressional delegation, representing Northern Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania, to pass a bipartisan infrastructure spending bill and secure funding for implementation of the projects that will help us become a truly global region.
Claire Marrazzo Greenwood is Executive Director and Vice President of Leadership Engagement at the CEO Council for Growth. She can be reached at [email protected].