Governor's office announces Rail Freight Assistance Program grants

Gov. Chris Christie's administration announced Tuesday nine grants -- a total of $20 million -- through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Rail Freight Assistance Program.

“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 grants will help foster economic activity through upholding and improving the existing freight transportation system and by making freight rail service more available for business statewide. The projects that will receive funding include repairs and upgrades to existing railroad tracks and bridges, as well as expansion projects that will connect or enlarge existing rail lines with new customers.

Grant applications will be evaluated on a cost-benefit basis and the factors in the choice of the projects include efficient and responsive freight distribution, energy and environmental factors, economic benefits and highway congestion mitigation. These grants typically provide funding for between 70 and 90 percent of the estimated cost of each project.

Grant applications are accepted through the state’s online system.

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