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Chester Branch rail line gets green light from feds

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The Federal Highway Administration has issued its authorization for the Chester Branch Rehabilitation project, enabling Morris County to seek bids to improve the four-mile active freight line in Roxbury, NJ. In February, the county applied to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority for $5.8 million in federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for this project, contingent upon federal authorization being received. The freight line was donated to the county by Chester Branch, LLC, and the Morristown & Erie Railway has a management agreement with the county to continue to operate on the Chester Branch, as well as two other county-owned rail lines. Advocates for the plan say efficient use of the rail line has the potential to reduce truck traffic along major roads including, Route 10, Sussex Turnpike, Route 46, Interstate 80 and other arterial roads throughout Morris County.

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