February 27, 2024 – The New Jersey Alliance for Action wrapped up its February event schedule Tuesday at Forsgate Country Club with the “Federal Infrastructure Act: What It Means for New Jersey” program. 

The featured speakers included:

  • Matthew Bentley, IIJA Coordinator, Deputy Director of Federal Affairs, Governor’s Washington Office
  • Rich Schaefer, Senior Vice President and Chief of Capital Projects, NJ TRANSIT
  • Elizabeth Dragon, Assistant Commissioner, Community Investment and Economic Revitalization, NJ Department of Environmental Protection
  • Henry Gajda, Deputy Chief of Staff, NJ Board of Public Utilities

Bentley discussed the $18 billion of federal funds headed to New Jersey, announcing that $3.6 billion are already designated for nearly 665 projects. He introduced a new tool coming this spring, a New Jersey Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act Dashboard, which allows users to visually see where IIJA dollars are being distributed. 

NJ TRANSIT is using $503 million of federal grants to support vital resiliency infrastructure improvements at Hoboken Terminal, County Yard in New Brunswick, and the Raritan River Bridge, Schaefer said. He also highlighted the Newark Penn Station Modernization, Hoboken Connect, Bus Garage Modernization, Secaucus-Meadowlands Transitway, and more. 

The NJDEP, according to Dragon, received $444.8 million in federal funding for water infrastructure, electric vehicles, natural resources, resiliency, and superfund. The NJBPU has applied $800 million in federal grants for solar, broadband, and more, according to Gajda.

A panel discussion followed the individual speakers. It was moderated by Paul Monte, Co-Managing Partner of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. and featured:

  • Steve Dilts, NJ Office Leader, HNTB.
  • John Keller, Specialist Executive, Deloitte.
  • Sam Donelson, Senior Vice President, Regional Line Leader, NY/NJ Transportation, AECOM.
  • Steve Gardner, Director, NJ LECET.

This panel discussed how IIJA funding has affected the progress of construction projects across the state. Panel members in their former government sector careers include a former DOT Commissioner, Executive Directors of the South Jersey Transportation Authority, New Jersey Turnpike and The Assembly Majority. Panelists expressed how the use of advanced technology can aid in maximizing efficiency for design-build processes. 

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is essential to continue making improvements and building resiliency in New Jersey’s aging infrastructure,” said NJAFA President Jerry Keenan.  

To learn more about Alliance for Action and our upcoming events, click here.

The New Jersey Alliance for Action is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2024. It remains a non-partisan, non-profit association that represents the interests of business, labor, government, utility, education and other professional leaders across New Jersey. The Alliance is committed to improving the state’s economy through the promotion of environmentally friendly capital construction and infrastructure investment.