New Jersey awarded $425M in federal funds for transit projects

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday his state had been awarded an additional $425 million in Federal Highway Administration funds for transportation projects.

The funding, part of the Federal August Redistribution process, will provide the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to fund $110 million of NJDOT projects and $315 million in NJ TRANSIT projects, the governor said.

A portion of the funding, nearly $8 million, will go toward completing the Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel, Murphy said. That project will reconnect the east and west halves of Long Branch, currently divided by the above-ground rail alignment. Officials said the project will improve access to Long Branch Station for commuters and the community while connecting neighborhoods cut off by the railroad. The project will also improve equitable access to the station while improving the station’s accessibility. Previously, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), announced the tunnel would receive $13.2 million in federal funding.

“The support we have garnered from the federal government demonstrates our collective commitment to enhance the vital transportation services upon which our communities depend,” Murphy said. “The Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel Project is a quintessential example of how my Administration is working to build a nation-leading transportation network that is not only more modern and efficient, but more accessible for all New Jerseyans.”

The funding is part of the August Redistribution which allows the FHWA to increase spending authority to state DOTs based on the availability of unused funds. These funds must be approved by the FHWA no later than Sept. 30, 203. This year’s amount is the highest amount ever received by New Jersey, and the fourth-highest award nationwide. Only California, Pennsylvania and Texas received higher amounts.

Other projects funding with the reauthorization funding include $68.1 million for the Hilton Bus Garage Modernization and Electrification project and $37.7 million for the Meadowlands Garage Battery Electric Bus Depot to prepare for the deployment of battery electric buses; and $15 million for the Passaic Bus Terminal a new terminal in the heart of the Passaic business district.

Funds provided to NJDOT will be used for a variety of projects including pavement preservation, bridge preventative maintenance, bikeway and pedestrian safety improvements and projects to ease congestion and improve safety.