Christie Administration announces twelve grants through the Rail Freight Assistance Program
Almost $13 million will fund rail improvement projects
supporting economic activity throughout the state
(Trenton) - The Christie Administration today announced 12 grants totaling $12,991,114 through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Year 2013 Rail Freight Assistance Program which helps support economic activity by preserving and improving the existing freight transportation system and by making freight rail service more widely available for businesses throughout the state.
“The Christie Administration is committed to providing assistance to New Jersey’s freight railroads for improvements to and preservation of our rail transportation network,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “The projects funded here will help advance a transportation strategy that strives to increase mobility and efficiency in the movement of goods in support of the State’s economy.”
The projects receiving funding in this round of grants include upgrades and repairs to existing railroad tracks and bridges and for expansion projects that will connect existing freight rail lines with new customers.
The Rail Freight Assistance Program, administered by the NJDOT Bureau of Multimodal Grants and Programs, provides funding for capital improvements that result in the continuation of economically viable rail freight services in the state. Grant applications are evaluated on a cost/benefit basis. Factors considered in the selection of the projects include: economic benefits, efficient and responsive freight distribution, energy and environmental factors, and highway congestion mitigation. Sponsors – typically the owner of the railroad – are also required to continue freight service on the improved line for at least five years after completion of the project.
Since 1994, the State of New Jersey has provided more than $65 million for rail projects through the New Jersey Rail Freight Assistance Program. These grants provide funding for 90 percent of the estimated cost of each project while the sponsor is beholden to provide the remaining 10 percent.
Application proposals are accepted through SAGE, the State’s on-line System for Administering Grants Electronically.