The Gateway project secured federal funding commitments last week, but federal aid still flows to New Jersey railways and train stations. (Photo by Edwin J. Torres/N.J. Governor’s Office)
New Jersey will receive $241 million in federal aid for improvements to Newark Penn Station and a North Brunswick train inspection facility, federal lawmakers and transportation officials announced a day before New Jersey’s legislative elections.
The funds, awarded to the state through a grant from the Federal Railway Administration, follow an announcement last week that the feds will send an additional $3.8 billion in funds for the plan to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
“Today marks a significant moment, not just for the transformative investments the Biden administration’s making in NJ Transit’s infrastructure, but for the entire northeast corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.,” NJ Transit President Kevin Corbett said at a Newark press conference Monday.
The bulk of the funds, $182 million, will go toward the Delco Lead Storage and Inspection Facility project in North Brunswick. The facility is meant to store trains during inclement weather and enable service to resume faster after severe storms.
The remaining $59 million is set aside for improvements to Newark Penn Station’s elevators and escalators.
“I’m excited about all of that. Why? Because it means that this Penn Station here changes, and when it changes, people’s lives change throughout the region of this state but also in the City of Newark … people’s lives change because we made this move here today,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
Monday’s announcement comes as New Jersey, New York, and their various partners reach full funding for the long-sought Gateway project.
Kris Kolluri, CEO of the Gateway Development Commission, said the additional $3.8 billion awarded to Gateway last week brought the project’s federal cost share to 70% and cut New Jersey’s obligations for new tunnels running beneath the Hudson River from more than two billion to several hundred million.
Kolluri could not provide more precise figures for the state’s share. Portions of the project’s costs not covered by federal sources will be paid by New York and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“This ten-mile stretch between Newark and Penn Station is the most important stretch of infrastructure in the country because of what it means to the quality of life of New Jersey residents and what it means for our economy,” Kolluri said. “This announcement today is a game changer.”
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