$450M for high-speed rail work headed toward N.J.

NEWARK – A grant of $450 million for high-speed rail work in New Jersey has been freed up.

Although the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the funding in May, it appeared in June as if the money would be redirected toward flood relief in other states.

In July, a House bill would have rescinded $1 billion for high-speed rail, including the $450 million for New Jersey.

U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to ensure the grant commitment was kept, and today the praised the decision.

“Rail service is the lifeblood of our state’s economy and it is our responsibility to protect and strengthen it for our commuters,” Lautenberg said in a release.

Among other things, the upgrades will allow the maximum speed to increase from 135 mph to 160 mph by 2017 along this stretch of the Northeast Corridor.

“This is exactly the kind of smart investment in infrastructure we need to boost our region’s economy, create good paying jobs and make New Jersey a leader in high speed rail,” Menendez said in a release.

$450M for high-speed rail work headed toward N.J.