U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today was on-hand at the formal execution of the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III partnership agreement between the South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC), Salem County and Conrail at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal. An $18.5 million TIGER III grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which Senators Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg first announced on December 12, 2011, will be leveraged with over $117 million in funds combined from this alliance to make critical improvements to Southern New Jersey’s railroad and port infrastructure, creating and saving thousands of New Jersey jobs. Menendez was joined by U.S. Congressmen Robert Andrews and Frank LoBiondo, State Senators Stephen Sweeney and Donald Norcross, and others.
“New Jersey’s world class transportation network is our state’s competitive advantage and this is exactly the kind of public-private partnership we need to stay at the top of our game,” said Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development. “I fought hard to secure this funding so that New Jersey businesses have the opportunity to develop an idea, turn it into a product and reach markets across our nation and around the globe. We must give our entrepreneurs and our businesses – both big and small – a viable, efficient way to bring cost-competitive goods to the market. It’s imperative so that we can attract employers, create good jobs, and support sustainable development -- keeping the best and brightest minds right here in New Jersey.”
"New Jersey's ports are drivers of our state's economy, and this upgrade of the Salem, Paulsboro and Camden ports will save and create thousands of jobs and strengthen major commercial corridors in South Jersey. The federal investment in the Port was critical to leveraging additional public and private support and is a key example of how federal grants can spur economic development and job creation. The partnership can now get to work on this project to strengthen New Jersey's transportation infrastructure and boost the state's economy," said Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, which funds the TIGER III grant program.
The $18.5 million TIGER III funds, together with the $117.65 million in additional private resources, will be used to fund the Delaware River Rail/Port Improvement Project to: run track, continue the rehabilitation of the Salem County Short Line, make rail linkage improvements at the SJPC’s Camden, Salem, and Paulsboro ports, and upgrade the DelAir Bridge, which connects New Jersey to Philadelphia.
Senators Menendez and Lautenberg have worked to improve freight rail service and enhance business opportunities in Southern New Jersey by improving the ability for businesses to bring in needed raw materials and ship their products. In both 2009 and 2010, Menendez and Lautenberg secured federal appropriations totaling $1.7 million, allowing the County of Salem to make improvements to its short line railroad. This latest round of federal funding will complete those improvements and not only preserve the 1,400 jobs at businesses like Anchor Hocking and Mannington Mills that are already serviced by the line, but, along with developments at the new Port at Paulsboro, will spur the creation of up to 2,600 new jobs in the area.