New Jersey DOT Accepting Airport, Rail Grant Applications

The New Jersey Department of Transportation is accepting grant applications through October 9 for fiscal year 2021 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) funds. Those programs seek to spur investments in airport and railroad infrastructure to improve safety and transportation efficiency for New Jersey residents and businesses.

[Above photo of Newark Int’l Airport by Ken Lund.]

New Jersey’s AIP grants aim to fund projects that enhance safety, remove obstructions, rehabilitate existing facilities and equipment, and make capital improvements.

To date, the New Jersey DOT noted in a statement that it has invested more than $10.1 million in its general aviation airports to date – leveraging an additional $38.2 million in federal grants and $2.9 million from airport owners for a total of $51.2 million worth of investment in state airport and aeronautic infrastructure.

The agency added that AIP grants can provide up to 90 percent of the funding for the total eligible project costs.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey DOT said in a separate statement that its RFAP grants seek 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.

Photo of New Jersey freight rail yard via Wikipedia

The agency noted it has invested more than $52.1 million in New Jersey’s freight rail services, leveraging an additional $19.5 million from railroad owners and operators for a total of more than $71.6 million in rail freight assistance.

The New Jersey DOT added that sponsors of RFAP grant applications – typically the owner of the railroad – are required to continue freight service on the improved line for at least five years after completion of an RFAP-supported project.

The program’s grants typically 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, the agency added.

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