Kris Kolluri cleared to head Gateway Development Commission

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Kris Kolluri gesturing while speaking. Photo: courtesy Kris Kolluri

Indian-American transportation expert Kris Kolluri got the green light to head one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country. The Gateway Development Commission established in 2019 to coordinate regional projects affecting New York and New Jersey gave Kolluri’s nomination as CEO, a thumping approval May 16, 2022. It was a 7-0 vote at the meeting, Desi Talk learnt.

“I very much appreciate the GDC Commissioners’ confidence, and I look forward to coming to an agreement,” Kolluri said in a statement sent to Desi Talk referring to the multi-million dollar project for the redevelopment of the Portal North Bridge and a new Hudson River tunnel. “I am excited to work with them and our federal partners collectively to build the most urgent infrastructure project in the nation.”

Currently the CEO of Camden Community partnership, Inc., Kolluri was nominated to head GDC by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, May 6

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The Gateway Program—which includes the redevelopment of the Portal North Bridge and a new Hudson River tunnel—is one of the nation’s most pressing infrastructure needs, a press release from the Governors, said.

The Gateway Development Commission, a partnership between New York, New Jersey and Amtrak, is tasked with coordinating delivery of the Gateway Program with its partner agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ TRANSIT.

Kolluri served as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) from January 2006 until December 2008. In his capacity as DOT Commissioner, Kolluri served as Chairman of NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and the South Jersey Transportation Authority. While at DOT, Kolluri played an instrumental role in helping develop a funding strategy to meet New Jersey’s contribution towards the ARC project, a nationally significant rail tunnel project that would have connected New Jersey and New York.

At DOT, Kolluri oversaw 17,000 employees, more than $3.6 billion in capital funds, and over $2 billion in operating funds.

“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,” Governor Murphy is quoted saying in the press release, noting Kolluri’s years of experience in the transportation sector.

“With his extensive resume, Kris Kolluri brings an extraordinary record of public service and I am confident he will serve New York and New Jersey well as Chief Executive Officer of the Gateway Development Commission,” Governor Hochul said.

“The Gateway Hudson Tunnel is critical to the Northeast corridor serving more than 800,000 passengers daily and is a key component of our plan to build back stronger than ever,” Hochul noted.

After his nomination, Kolluri said, “There is a clear and present opportunity and desire among federal, state, and bi-state partners to advance the Hudson Tunnel Project and the Gateway Program,” and committed to be   “singularly focused” first on bringing the HTP to fruition.

Prior to becoming President & CEO of Camden Community Partnership, Inc., Kolluri served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Rowan University/Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors (Joint Board). Before that, he was Counsel at the law firm of Windels Marx Lane and Mittendorf, where he advised clients on transportation and economic development matters.

Kolluri also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority from December 2008 to January 2010. He also has experience on Capitol Hill in Washigton, D.C.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a law degree from Georgetown University, Kolluri specialized in redevelopment and transportation law as an attorney at Parker McCay of Marlton.

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