After months of wrangling, the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill won final passage in Congress on Friday night, committing $550 billion in new federal dollars to improve roads, bridges and highways, expand broadband internet access, overhaul the electric grid, and other projects.
The legislation provides $12.31 billion in transportation and transit funding dollars to New Jersey over the next five years, plus funding for the Gateway Project that is important for millions of commuters using the hundreds of trains running daily beneath the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law soon.
New Jersey’s share of the infrastructure bill includes $6.9 billion for highways, $1.1 billion for bridges and $4.2 billion for transit over the next five years, according to an analysis by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). A $30 billion appropriation for Amtrak would benefit the Gateway Project – a series of projects that include construction of new 2.4-mile Hudson River rail tunnel and repairs to the existing 111-year-old tunnel that sustained saltwater damage after Superstorm Sandy a decade ago.
The $30 billion for Amtrak, plus an $8 billion supplemental appropriation and $3 billion annual authorization, can be used to complete Gateway, which is estimated to cost $11.6 billion.
The state also can expect to receive $104.4 million to build electric vehicle charging stations, $100 million to expand high-speed internet connections, $24.4 million for ferry service, and a share of funding to replace lead water pipes and clean up Superfund sites.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday thanked the president and New Jersey’s congressional delegation for getting the legislation passed.
“New Jerseyans stand to benefit immensely from unprecedented investments in infrastructure,” Murphy said. He called the Gateway project the largest critical infrastructure project in the United States that would bring commuters the relief they deserve.
“This legislation will support good-paying jobs now and in the future, which will help boost our economy and make New Jersey more competitive in the region,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “At the same time, these infrastructure investments will also bring a better quality of life for New Jersey residents, workers and employers.”