NJDOT awards $5.1 million in rail, community-based grants

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) last week awarded Bergen and Passaic counties $5.1 million in grants for infrastructure, road and rail improvements and repairs.

Passaic will receive a $750,000 grant for streetscape enhancements from Market Street to the Eastside, which will undergo residential and commercial redevelopment. Funded in part by a separate $322,000 Local Aid grant from the state's Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), the first phase will include infrastructure improvement such as water and sewer enhancements, and improvements to the sidewalks and curbs.

NJDOT also awarded Bergen County a $4.3 million grant to replace the rail bridge spanning the Overpeck Creek in Ridgefield Park. The bridge is an important link for freight rail in the region with an average of 25,000 rail cars traversing the bridge each year.

In awarding the grants, NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox and state Sen. Paul Sarlo also highlighted the need to find a dedicated revenue source to replenish the TTF.

"These grants are among hundreds of Local Aid awards distributed by NJDOT every year to help local and county governments advance essential projects without burdening local property taxpayers,” Fox said.  “Without replenishing the TTF, nearly $200 million in Local Aid grants are in jeopardy.”

The TTF is expected to run out of money on July 1.

"We worked closely with the (NJDOT) to acquire these important funds,” Sarlo said. “The projects funded by these grants will benefit not only our district, but the entire state. Replenishing the TTF will provide funding for valuable grants such as these in the future, which take the burden from the taxpayer while allowing us to move forward with high priority projects.”

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New Jersey Department of Transportation

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