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NJ to land $1.2 billion in transportation funding
Written by HardNewsNJ staff   
Monday, 23 February 2009 13:47

NEWARK - Sen. Frank R Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced New Jersey will receive more than $1.2 billion in new transportation funding as part of the economic recovery package signed into law by President Obama last week.  The funding is designed to create jobs, repair roads and bridges, increase the availability of trains and buses to residents and build a new rail tunnel underneath the Hudson River.
  
“New Jersey’s economy depends on transportation and this new law provides sorely-needed funding for our state to create good-paying jobs, expand our railways, repair our roads and break ground on major public works projects, such as the new Hudson River rail tunnel,” Lautenberg said.  “Not only will this package serve as an engine for job creation, but these investments will pay off in the years to come by reducing congestion on our roads and providing new, energy-efficient options for travelers.  Together, these investments will help jumpstart New Jersey’s economy and help create a 21st-century transportation system.”
 
In addition to New Jersey’s regular annual federal appropriations for transportation, the recovery package includes:
 
- $651 million for the state’s highways and bridges, rail lines and seaports;
 
- $524 million for transit capital projects across the state, including rail and bus stations; and
 
Authorization of up to $1.5 billion in federal resources for initial construction of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. 
 

Last month, Sens. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Gov. Jon Corzine announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) completed its environmental review process for the Hudson River Mass Transit Tunnel project, which is expected to create 44,000 permanent jobs throughout the New Jersey—New York region.
 
Overall, the new economic recovery law is expected to create or save 100,000 jobs in New Jersey, many of them working on roads, bridges and railways.  This bill will also fund Senator Lautenberg’s Amtrak law, giving Amtrak the ability to improve service on the Northeast Corridor and other rail lines around the country by making trains faster and more reliable. 

Background

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on February 17. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped author the bill, including its provisions to improve the State’s transportation systems:

- Nearly $1.2 billion for New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure, including projects to repair highways and bridges and expand transit systems, passenger and freight railroads, and seaports.

- The law authorizes up to $1.5 billion federal commitment for initial construction of Hudson River rail tunnel project.

- The law also provides $510 million for improvements to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor which runs through New Jersey, and shares its track with NJ Transit.

Our infrastructure needs repair:

- 34% of New Jersey’s 6,453 bridges are deficient.

- The average New Jersey commuter spends an extra 45 hours a year stuck in traffic due to congestion.

New Jersey relies on transit

- 10.3% of New Jersey workers use public transportation to get to work—2rd highest rate of any state in the country.

- Last year, more than 250 million trips were taken on NJ Transit, approximately 80 million trips on PATH, and more than 10 million trips on PATCO.

- During peak hours, commuter trains traverse the Hudson River every 2½ minutes, reaching capacity for the existing railroad tunnels.

An example of inprovements:

- Newark Broad Street Station recently underwent extensive renovations by NJ Transit. The new influx of Federal funding from the Federal Economic Recovery Act will make more improvements in our transportation system possible across our state.

- The $79.5 million renovation project resulted in several new platforms, new railroad bridges, elevators, stairs, restrooms, offices, and rehabilitation of the main station building.

- Recent renovations at Newark’s Broad St. Station have made the station fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
 

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