Federal legislation would send billions to New Jersey to improve state’s infrastructure

The United States Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill this week that would send billions of dollars to New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Aug 13, 2021, 12:02 AM

Updated 982 days ago

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The United States Senate passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill this week that would send billions of dollars to New Jersey.
The funds would go toward the state’s roads and bridges, broadband internet and would help replace lead-contaminated pipes in schools.
“We're on the cusp of something that hasn't happened in decades, infrastructure that can really handle today's challenges,” says Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
The compromise bill does not identify individual projects, but the $30 billion for the Northeast Corridor rail, plus $11 billion in grants, can be used to complete the Gateway Project, including building a new tunnel underneath the Hudson River for commuter trains.
According to Sen. Bob Menendez’s office, the full investment for New Jersey includes $6.9 billion for highways and roads, $4.2 billion spread over five years for New Jersey Transit and $1.1 billion for bridges.
“We don't want to lose the fact that it's not everything. There is an opportunity for us to do something that was really needed, it's urgent and that's addressing climate change,” says Potosnak.
Potosnak says that he supports the bipartisan bill, which also includes $104 million for New Jersey to install more electric vehicle chargers, but wants more dramatic action to combat climate change. And that's why Potosnak and other progressives are backing a larger, more controversial $3.5 trillion spending plan for climate change and child care. It narrowly passed the Senate on Wednesday.
“We've had ferries for a long time. But we haven't had electric buses. The larger package of both bills will ensure we build back in a different way, and build a future, really, for our children and what they can inherit and enjoy and for our health in the long run,” Potosnak says.
Democrats and Republicans will spend the rest of this month wrangling over the two plans. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes to have the legislation done by Sept. 15.


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