U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (both D-NJ) today announced a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grant award of $2,828,200 to Rutgers University's Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT).
"New Jersey's transportation infrastructure is critical to our economy and our daily lives, and Rutgers University's Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation helps us make the most of our existing infrastructure while educating the next generation of transportation professionals and developing new technologies for the future," said Senator Menendez. "As the federal budget has become tighter, the competition for these grant dollars has intensified and it is a real credit to the quality of Rutgers University's program that these federal resources continue to be provided to New Jersey."
"Infrastructure across the country is in need of modernization. Rutgers University's Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation uses innovative technologies that lead to faster construction and longer-lasting, efficient and safe highways and bridges. In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, infrastructure investment and more efficient transportation construction are critical to keeping us moving," said Congressman Pallone.
"CAIT is proud that USDOT has recognized the research program we've been building for more than 15 years. This is CAIT's fourth University Transportation Center (UTC) competition, but the first time we've reached National UTC status," said CAIT Director Ali Maher, Ph.D.
"This award is an opportunity for us to transform our efforts--which to date have largely been on a local, state, or regional level--into a truly national platform that will encourage and facilitate seamless integration among agencies, industry, and universities across the country. In theory that sounds simple, but in practice it's very challenging. Our first step toward this collaborative vision was gathering a group of previously fragmented individual centers of excellence into a consortium that leverages its collective resources to turn out the kind of practical research that can be applied and have an impact in the real world--right here, right now. Our primary concern is to address pressing infrastructure issues that affect people's everyday lives. Whether it's increasing safety, reducing congestion, improving the environment, finding a better way to fix a bridge, or developing tools that ensure money invested in infrastructure yields maximum benefits--all these things are directly tied to a healthy economy and good quality of life. CAIT has always concentrated on identifying area-specific needs for real stakeholders facing real challenges and offered insight or solutions that have an immediate effect on the operation and management of bridges, roads, ports, energy and water networks, and so forth. We will continue to do that, but now we're going to take it to the next level and find new ways we can contribute to making this country's infrastructure better and stronger."
Rutgers University's CAIT program, located in Piscataway, N.J., helps develop safer, more durable, and more efficient infrastructure and transportation systems.