In case you missed it: Earlier this month (Sept. 6 ,2023), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the Federal Highway Administration awarded an additional $425 million in federal transportation dollars to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) for transportation projects — including $68.1 million for an ongoing design effort to modernize the NJ Transit Hilton Bus Garage in Maplewood and prepare the facility for the deployment of battery electric buses (BEB).
Per northjersey.com, “In January 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy laid out clean energy goals for NJ Transit’s bus program, requiring 10% of buses purchased by December 2024 to be zero-emission, 50% by December 2026 and 100% by December 2032. According to the report, “Updating the Maplewood bus garage is key for NJ Transit to move ahead with a second electric bus pilot program it is planning for 2026. The first pilot, taking place in Camden, began last year.”
Township Committee member Victor De Luca said that the township is not yet aware of a start date for the work.
Read more from the Office of the Governor of the State of New Jersey:
LONG BRANCH – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded an additional $425 million in federal transportation dollars to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) for transportation projects as part of the Federal August Redistribution process.Each year, August Redistribution provides an opportunity for the FHWA to increase spending authority to state DOTs based on the availability of unused funds. Use of these funds must be approved by the FHWA no later than September 30, 2023. The FHWA provided $425 million in redistributed spending authority. This is the highest amount New Jersey has ever received, and the fourth-highest award nationwide, only behind California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Since Governor Murphy took office in 2018, the NJDOT has received $830 million in August Redistribution funds, more than four times the amount in the prior ten years.
The NJDOT was able to program such a significant amount of money thanks to strong collaboration with the FHWA under the leadership of FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt. Ultimately, the additional spending will be split, with $315 million for NJ TRANSIT projects and $110 million for NJDOT projects.
“The support we have garnered from the federal government demonstrates our collective commitment to enhance the vital transportation services upon which our communities depend,” said Governor Murphy. “I thank our congressional delegation for their persistent work in Washington to bring crucial federal dollars to our state, as well as Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti and her team for their continued efforts to provide funding for critical transportation projects. The Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel Project is a quintessential example of how my Administration is working to build a nation-leading transportation network that is not only more modern and efficient, but more accessible for all New Jerseyans.”“I’m proud to stand here today with Governor Murphy to say that federal funding is coming to New Jersey to bolster our transit system and expedite transportation projects across the state. New Jerseyans rely on our transportation infrastructure in their lives, and this funding will ensure critical projects can move forward,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. “Federal funding I secured to construct a pedestrian tunnel at the Long Branch station will boost economic opportunity in our city by finally re-connecting the east and west sides of the city surrounding the station, giving residents and commuters equitable access to businesses and making the city more accessible and safer for families who rely on public transit.”
“The collaboration that led to such a significant outcome for New Jersey cannot be overstated. Thank you to the FHWA team for working through this initiative and recognizing the importance of investing in New Jersey’s entire transportation system,” said NJDOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “This funding will help deliver on Governor Murphy’s promise of providing all New Jerseyans with a safe, efficient, and equitable transportation network.”
“I want to thank Governor Murphy for coming to Long Branch to make this federal funding announcement, and for everything he has done for our city and projects throughout the state,” said Long Branch Mayor John Pallone. “With the funding opportunities that Governor Murphy, Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Congressman Pallone, and Senator Gopal have all fought for on our behalf, our vision is becoming a reality.”
Governor Murphy made the announcement at Long Branch Station, which will receive $7.9 million of this additional funding to help complete the Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel project. The Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel project will reconnect the east and west halves of Long Branch, which are currently divided by the above-ground rail alignment. It will improve access to Long Branch Station for commuters and community members while connecting neighborhoods separated by the railroad tracks. The project will also improve accessibility and enhance equitable access to the station. In February 2023, Congressman Pallone announced that he had secured $13.2 million in federal funding for the new pedestrian tunnel.
In addition to the $7.9 million committed to Long Branch, other NJ TRANSIT projects benefitting from the additional federal funding announced today include:
- The Hilton Bus Garage Modernization and Electrification ($68.1 million) – An ongoing design effort to modernize Hilton Bus Garage and prepare the facility for the deployment of battery electric buses (BEB).
- Meadowlands Garage Battery Electric Bus Depot ($37.7 million) – This project will implement the initial phase of a BEB depot at the Meadowlands Bus garage to support the deployment of articulated battery electric buses.
- Passaic Bus Terminal ($15 million) – A project for an all-new bus terminal in the heart of the Passaic business district, including larger bus berths to accommodate higher capacity articulated buses and the construction of new bus shelters.
- Watsessing Avenue ($31.6 million) and Roselle Park ($9 million) Station Modernizations – These projects will renovate the stations, providing new platforms and canopies and installing elevators and ramps to allow for full accessibility.
- Replacement of six bridges ($106.5 million) – These projects will replace bridges in Little Falls, Readington, High Bridge, and Bayonne, as well as two in Waterford.
- Delco Lead ($33.8 million) – This project is part of NJ TRANSIT’s Resilience Program and will construct a storage location at a strategic location along the Northeast Corridor that is not flood-prone.
- Hoboken Yard Improvements ($5 million) – This project includes design and construction of inspection pits in Hoboken Yard for required periodic inspections of Multilevel rail cars, making those cars more readily available for service.
The NJDOT will use the funds for a variety of projects that will be advertised or awarded by the end of the year. These projects include pavement preservation, bridge preventative maintenance, bikeway and pedestrian safety improvements, and projects that will ease congestion and improve safety. Among the projects that will receive funding are:
- Portway, Fish House Road/Pennsylvania Avenue, CR 659 – This project will realign the roadway and reconfigure the intersection of Central Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in Kearny. The roadway improvements will include drainage facilities and quality treatment areas.
Route 42, Kenney Ave. to Atlantic City Expressway – This project will resurface approximate 3 miles of the highway in both directions in Washington Township, Gloucester County.