If infrastructure bill passes, area’s shovel-ready projects could benefit region | Government & Politics

But Van Drew said the Route 55 project isn’t shovel-ready, so he couldn’t include it on his list of projects to propose for funding now.

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The design cost would be about $20 million, and the construction more than $1 billion, Van Drew said.

“And I believe it has real environmental issues,” he said.

Getting broadband access also is vital, Testa said, along with fixing and replacing bridges.

“We need to have this entire legislative district have full access to broadband,” Testa said. “In Dennis Township, Cape May County and Hopewell Township, Cumberland County … (during the COVID-19 pandemic), young students were unable to go online for remote learning.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3rd, said it’s really not accurate to focus only on infrastructure in the American Jobs Act.

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“It’s an infrastructure and jobs bill,” Kim said.

While he was not ready to talk about specific projects he will ask to have funded if the infrastructure bill passes, in a March 17 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Kim pointed out there are more than 40 structurally deficient bridges in his district, which covers parts of Ocean and Burlington counties.

“In addition to funding new projects to rebuild our roads, bridges and tunnels, I urge you to bring a proposal for consideration that helps us create a more resilient nation that expands access to medical transportation, funds clean water projects, and boosts job quality and creation that will help us weather future crises,” Kim wrote.