Washington - New Jersey Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg today announced that the Senate approved legislation to give New Jersey more than $85.6 million in federal funding for transportation and economic development.

The Appropriations legislation passed the House on Monday but will have to go back to that body before it is sent to the President. It is expected to pass the House and go to President Bush by the end of the week.

"It is no secret that when we provide safe and efficient transportation options, the public will make good use of it," said Menendez. "By investing in our state's public transportation infrastructure, we can reduce the number of cars on the road and in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ease traffic congestion, and provide resources for our communities to spur economic growth."

"We have seen time and again that when we make public transportation a viable option for commuters, people use it," said Lautenberg. "This funding would make vital improvements to roads, sidewalks, bridges and highways, and help bring our nation's rail and transportation systems into the 21st century."

A large portion of the funding would help finance the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system and a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and New York. Funds would also be used to improve roads, highways and many other rail and transit lines across the state, purchasing new transit vehicles and economic development and revitalization projects.

Several of the transportation projects funded under this bill include:

· $54,089,135 for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail;

· $14,700,000 for construction of the new Trans-Hudson Midtown Tunnel;

· $490,000 for restoration of the Northern Branch Rail line;

· $490,000 for improvements at transportation facilities in Bergen and Passaic Counties;

· $784,000 for improvements at transportation facilities in Northern New Jersey;

· $294,000 for a pedestrian bridge at a Hudson County transportation facility;

· $1,313,200 for improvements at Newark Penn Station;

· $392,000 for a bus shuttle project for seniors in Irvington;

· $196,000 for a bus shuttle project for seniors and handicapped in West Orange;

· $245,000 for roadway improvements in South Orange and Maplewood;

· $980,000 for improvements to the Bridge Street, Clay Street and Jackson Street Bridges;

· $3,920,000 for the Route 22 Sustainable Corridor Plan in Bridgewater and Somerville;

· $245,000 for the downtown streetscape project in New Providence;

· $735,000 for conversion of Route 29 Blvd. in Trenton;

· $490,000 for the transportation facility in South Amboy;

· $980,000 for restoration of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex County Passenger Rail Line;

· $490,000 for the Morris County Park-and-Ride facility;

· $1,313,200 for a new transportation facility in Lakewood;

· $490,000 for expansions at Atlantic City Airport; and

· $413,658 for repaving Clinton Street in Camden.

Economic development projects funded under the bill include:

· $196,000 for Cooper University Hospital's outpatient facilities and housing redevelopment in Camden;

· $196,000 for upgrades at the theater in Collingswood;

· $196,000 for restoration of Bridgeton High School Stadium;

· $656,600 for pedestrian walkway improvements and downtown revitalization in Newark;

· $196,000 for the Berg Hat factory Commercial Arts Center in Orange;

· $196,000 for renovations and construction at the Goodwill Rescue Mission in Newark;

· $262,640 for redevelopment of the Koppers Coke site in Jersey City;

· $196,000 for construction of trails in the Dismal Swamp in Edison;

· $147,000 for sidewalk improvements on College Ave. in New Brunswick;

· $196,000 for a children's advocacy center in Freehold; and

· $196,000 for restoration of Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson.

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