Greg Lalevee was unanimously reelected for a fifth term as business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, the union announced June 8.
In addition, Lalevee’s entire slate of 18 officers also won new three-year terms. Lalevee has served as head of the local since 2010.
“On behalf of our entire executive team, I am grateful for our members’ renewed faith in the Local 825 leadership,” Lalevee said in a statement. “We work hard every day for our members making sure they are the best trained and most professional workers in some of the most important infrastructure projects in New Jersey and New York, all the while striving to ensure a quality of life our members have earned.”
According to the local, membership has increased by over 15% to more than 7,500 under Lalevee’s leadership. The union has invested training and equipment to ensure the operators remain at the top of their field, especially with the nation’s largest infrastructure project – the Gateway train tunnel under the Hudson River – about to get underway.
The Gateway Program, a major effort to repair transportation infrastructure and improve rail traffic between New Jersey and New York, has begun to move forward. Local 825 will perform much of the work, operating the heavy equipment necessary to deliver on what policymakers have termed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The first project will be the replacement of the old Portal North Bridge – which often gets stuck in the open position, creating delays – with a modern two-track, fixed-span bridge. The new structure will rise 50 feet over the Hackensack River and allow marine traffic to pass underneath without interrupting rail traffic.
The full Gateway project also envisions a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
“There’s a great amount of optimism that with the recent infrastructure bill that passed,” Lalevee told NJBIZ earlier this year, referring to federal legislation that will provide billions of dollars for work in New Jersey. “I can’t believe it’s actually that close now,” he added.