Railroad improvements in Egg Harbor Township and a bridge replacement in Cumberland County will benefit from infrastructure grants awarded by the state Department of Transportation this week.
Southern Railroad Company of New Jersey will receive nearly $1 million through the Rail Freight Assistance Program to improve a mile-long stretch of track in Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville.
Joseph Dee, a DOT spokesman, said the improvements will help the railroad serve several local businesses, including paving company A.E. Stone Inc. and Tri-County Building Supplies.
The railroad will spend an additional $111,000 on the project, which will rehabilitate the existing tracks to meet Federal Railroad Administration standards. A representative from the railroad did not respond to a request for comment.
Cumberland County, meanwhile, will receive $230,000 to complete a replacement bridge on County Road 540 over the Cohansey River in Upper Deerfield Township. The local aid infrastructure grant will help fund the $930,000 project.
“It’s a fairly significant through road that goes through Elmer, Woodstown and Salem,” said county Engineer Bill Rafferty.
He said the bridge has been closed since August 2011, when heavy rains and Tropical Storm Irene caused significant damage. It’s one of the last major linkages still closed more than a year after the storm.
Construction began July 30, Rafferty said, but the county was hoping the grant would help offset the costs not covered by last year’s grants.
“The part we were short we were fronting with county money, hoping this money came through,” he said. “And darned if it didn’t.”
Rafferty said construction on the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Another bridge along the Cohansey, on Harmony Road in Upper Deerfield Township, is also closed. Rafferty said he expects construction on that project to begin in November or December after the last state Department of Environmental Protection permit is secured.
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