Transportation projects in New Jersey will benefit from $3.21 billion of funds from the federal stimulus package, with a new passenger rail tunnel connecting Newark to Manhattan gaining up to $1.2 billion of support.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg last week announced the financial boost to projects in the Garden State from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Obama signed into law last month.

“New Jersey’s economy depends on transportation and this new law provides sorely-needed funding for our state to create good-paying jobs, expand our railways, repair our roads, and break ground on major public works projects, such as the new Hudson River rail tunnel,” Lautenberg said in a press release. “Not only will this package serve as an engine for job creation, but these investments will pay off in the years to come by reducing congestion on our roads and providing new, energy-efficient options for travelers.”

The New Jersey Transit Authority and state politicians have touted the new tunnel, called the Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC, as a shovel-ready project just waiting for federal support. The $8.7 billion development will receive up to $1.2 billion from the stimulus bill for initial construction costs.

Officials are still waiting to hear how much funding the ARC tunnel will receive from the Federal Transit Administration. In late January, Lautenberg and other officials said they were hoping for a $3 billion commitment from the FTA.

New Jersey also will receive $1.2 billion of stimulus funds for transportation infrastructure throughout the state. That support will help finance highway and bridge repairs, transit system expansions, passenger and freight railroads, and seaports.

Another $510 million will support upgrades to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line that connects Boston to the District of Columbia and runs through New Jersey, sharing its track with NJTransit.

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