Local Transportation Project Grant important piece in overall goal to upgrade safety, and enhance economic opportunity and mobility for Long Branch residents
Mayor John Pallone announced today that Long Branch has secured $900,000 in funding from The Local Transportation Project Fund (LTPF) through the NJ Department of Transportation. The LTPF was established to address specific and focused local transportation issues throughout the state.
“I’m proud to announce that we secured necessary funding for the design and engineering of the pedestrian tunnel at the Long Branch Station,” said Mayor John Pallone. “The funding takes us one step closer to re-connecting the east and west sides of the city surrounding the station.”
A resolution to apply for the LTPF grant was passed by the Long Branch Council in December 2022. This funding will be utilized for the design and engineering of the Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel and Upgrades Project.
“The council recognized the importance of this funding as the first piece to getting the Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel and Upgrades Project moving forward. We can now begin the design and engineering of the tunnel and the surrounding area,” said Council President Rose Widdis.
“This is wonderful news for the city of Long Branch,” continued Mayor Pallone. “The transportation project will boost economic opportunity in our city, giving residents and commuters equitable access to businesses on both sides of the tracks. Public transportation will soon be more accessible and safer for all commuters.”
The design will comprise of upgrades to the station and surrounding area, including a reconstructed commuter parking lot for multi-model public transportation, ride share, and taxi service, a heated pedestrian over-hang for bus service, and landscape improvements.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the project get started so we can make Long Branch a better place to live and work. With Long Branch securing the Local Transportation Project Grant, we are on our way,” said the Mayor.
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced in February the securing of $13.2 Million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Long Branch Station Pedestrian Tunnel and Upgrades to improve the Long Branch Station. The funding from the federal Reconnecting Communities Grant will be used to create a tunnel to connect the east and west sides of the city that are currently bisected by the rail corridor. It will also provide safe and convenient access to each platform. Currently, many riders are forced to walk across the train tracks, putting their safety at risk. Congressman Pallone worked closely with state, local, and federal partners to successfully secure the Reconnecting Communities Grant for Long Branch.
Originally built in 1875, Long Branch Station has the 5th highest ridership of the 20 stations that make up the North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL), with over 1,000 average weekday boardings according to data from 2019. A concrete barrier blocks convenient access to the eastbound and westbound platforms of train station as well as stores, restaurants, and medical care facilities located on opposite sides of the train tracks.
The construction of the tunnel will be funded through federal DOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program established by the Congress in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This new program supports infrastructure projects that reconnect communities unable to access economic opportunities because of transportation infrastructure. The Long Branch project is one of just 9 awards nationwide.
“The city of Long Branch thanks the NJ DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Congressman Pallone and Senator Vin Gopal (LD-11) for their continued support of our ongoing efforts to invest in critical transportation infrastructure,” said Mayor John Pallone. “The project will improve the quality of life for all Long Branch’s residents by providing necessary upgrades to the Long Branch Station and the surrounding area. Safety is a priority and with the funds from both grants, we will be able to enhance pedestrian, bike, and vehicular safety while upgrading the conditions of the roads to reduce congestion and improve mobility.”