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Senators announce $235 million in Sandy relief grants for NJ Transit, PATH

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a combined $235 million in federal grants to repair damage sustained by New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail systems during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, New Jersey's U.S. senators announced yesterday.

USDOT awarded the grants through the Federal Transit Administration's Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program to reimburse local entities for interim resilience measures, repairs and recovery work. PATH was awarded about $167 million and NJ Transit, $66.8 million, according to a press release issued by U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.)

"Sandy battered New Jersey, sending an unprecedented storm surge up New York Harbor and the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers that flooded PATH stations and tunnels and crippled NJ Transit's Kearny rail yards," said Menendez, who chairs the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development with direct transit oversight. "These grants help pay to rebuild our state’s vital public transit network without overburdening commuters. I will continue to fight for additional federal funding to ensure the Garden State recovers from Sandy, stronger and better than before the storm."

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to use the federal funding for PATH's ongoing emergency relief program, including payment for past and ongoing recovery work. In addition, the grants will go toward new resiliency equipment and practices to improve resistance to future storm damage and ability to efficiently restore service following major storm events, the senators said.

The grants also will fund NJ Transit's ready-to-implement projects, including the repair and restoration of the Newark and Hudson Bergen light-rail lines; Weehawken Ferry Terminal dredging; purchase of up to four fuel trucks; Gladstone catenary pole resiliency; and an Interoperable Communications Center.

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