Christie Administration announces nine
grants through the Rail Freight Assistance Program
$20 million would fund rail improvement projects
supporting economic activity throughout the state
(Trenton) - The Christie Administration today announced nine grants totaling $20,026,534 through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Rail Freight Assistance Program.
The grants help 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 Administration is committed to improving and preserving our rail transportation network by providing grants to New Jersey’s freight railroads,” NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “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 include upgrades and repairs to existing railroad tracks and bridges and expansion projects that will connect or expand 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 – also are 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 $85 million for rail projects through the New Jersey Rail Freight Assistance Program. These grants provide funding for between 70 and 90 percent of the estimated cost of each project while the sponsor is responsible for providing the remaining amount.
Application proposals are accepted through SAGE, the State’s on-line System for Administering Grants Electronically.