Leaders of four state government agencies yesterday outlined plans for monies coming to New Jersey from the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Speaking to an audience of more than 300 New Jersey business, government, utility, labor and other leaders at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, the Commissioners of Transportation and Environmental Protection, as well as the BPU President and a senior official of NJ TRANSIT, outlined priorities for critical infrastructure projects throughout the state.
Alliance for Action President Jerry Keenan said: “New Jersey is at an unprecedented crossroads. Infrastructure monies will be coming into our state for critical projects at an unprecedented pace. The dawn of the 1956 Federal Interstate Highway Act was the last time we saw this level of activity. The NJ Alliance for Action is proud to put these government leaders all in the same room to talk about the challenges of making these projects a reality.”
The state government leaders outlined strategies to distribute Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding coming to the state over the next five years. Dollars will support road and bridge, broadband connectivity, water supply, flood control, mass transit, EV charging station and many other investments.
NJ Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said New Jersey is receiving $2.6 billion in extra federal formula funds for roads and bridges over the next five years and said her department is developing a list of projects for the 2023 capital plan. “We in this room will be the people that help move this funding forward,” she added.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said the federal dollars will fund “$455 million in sewer infrastructure, $193 in drinking water improvements, $244 million for lead pipe replacement,” and other critical projects.
While speaking about broadband connectivity, NJ Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso stated that “New Jersey is on the edge of the greatest infrastructure investment since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.”
Speaking of NJ TRANSIT’s plans for IIJA dollars, Senior Vice President of Capital Programs Eric Daleo said, “There is no more critical infrastructure project than the Hudson Tunnels and related Gateway improvement program.”
A panel discussion entitled “GETTING THE MOST FOR NEW JERSEY OUT OF FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE DOLLARS,” comprised of industry leaders, followed the remarks of the state officials. Participants in the panel outlined unprecedented challenges to the “delivery system” of projects. The panel represented the legal, contracting, engineering, risk management and labor communities and was moderated by Paul Monte, Co-Managing Director of Peckar & Abramson. Speaking to the scope of the infrastructure challenges ahead, Dan Kennedy, Senior Director of the Utility and Transportation Contractors of NJ said, “This is an institutional change for government and infrastructure” and there must be a change in mindset going forward.
It was also noted that while monies have been allocated in the IIJA, much money remains to be appropriated by Congress, including the transportation funding.
To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.Related Articles: