(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is handing out $29 million in grants for 10 rail projects across the Garden State.
The 10 projects are located in 11 counties and range from upgrading existing tracks to repairing bridges and crossings to building a new bridge.
The money is from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s fiscal 2021 Rail Freight Assistance Program and covers about 55.9% of the projects’ total cost. In addition to the $29 million in state grants, the project sponsors, typically the railroad owners or operators, will contribute $23 million to the projects.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration’s “targeted investments in New Jersey’s rail transportation network will strengthen our economy and ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a news release. “The projects funded through the Rail Freight Assistance program provide critical upgrades to our transportation infrastructure.”
As part of the largest project, at least monetarily, the state awarded nearly $9.4 million to replace the 120-year-old Point-No-Point Bridge across the Passaic River in Newark. Conrail will provide an additional $20 million for the project.
Proponents say the funding will support economic activity by preserving and improving freight rail service and making it more widely available for businesses. Project sponsors must continue freight service on the improved line for at least five years after completing the project.
Other state grants include:
• Nearly $4.4 million for the Dover and Delaware as part of a $4.9 million project in Monmouth and Ocean counties
• Nearly $3 million for the Raritan Central Railway as part of the $3.5 million Sweetwater Rail Spur extension project in Edison
• More than $1 million for the Dover and Delaware for the nearly $1.2 million Stockton Street curve and interchange improvement project in Phillipsburg
• More than $1.7 million for the New York, Susquehanna and Western as part of the $1.9 million Sparta Serving Yard Track project in Sparta
• $673,828 for the Belvidere & Delaware as part of the $758,697 Copper Hill Track Upgrade project in Raritan
• Nearly $3.5 million for Interstate Waste for a more than $3.8 million project in Kearny
• Nearly $1.9 million for the New York, Susquehanna and Western as part of a more than $2 million project to install ties, ballast and surface on its main line track in Bergen, Morris, and Passaic counties
• More than $1.7 million to Kinkisharyo International for a $1.9 million project in Piscataway
• More than $1.8 million for Morris County for the $2.4 million Dover & Rockaway rail realignment project design in Morris County
Under Murphy, the state has invested more than $104.1 million in freight rail services. Railroad owners and operators have spent an additional $48.6 million.