Ninety-five percent of New Jersey municipalities will receive Municipal Aid grant awards, totaling $161.25 million.
Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti announced that 95 percent of New Jersey municipalities will receive Municipal Aid grant awards, totaling $161.25 million. A total of 537 cities and towns across the state are receiving grants to advance road, bridge, safety and quality-of-life improvements in an effort to continue the Department of Transportation's Commitment to Communities' efforts.
"Supporting New Jersey's communities through funding for infrastructure maintenance and renewal is a core component of good government, and stands at the top of this Administration's priorities," said Murphy. "Alongside Commissioner Scaccetti, I'm proud to stand with our state's municipalities to help them deliver projects to their residents that improve their mobility and their quality of life."
"Working directly with municipalities to update the main lines of transportation that run through our towns and cities will have a positive daily impact on people," said Oliver, who also serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. "Residents want to see their Transportation Trust Fund dollars at work in their communities and this grant program will help to make infrastructure improvements become a reality statewide."
"The Murphy Administration maintains its commitment to communities by providing municipalities the resources to make important safety, infrastructure, and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers," said Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
The competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 681 applications from 544 different municipalities with a total of $377 million in work. Project applications are evaluated and rated on their merits by an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers with the support of NJDOT. This process resulted in 538 awards to 537 municipalities. The 2016 Transportation Trust Fund renewal has made it possible to continue to award more than double the dollar value for the second straight year ($78.75 million to $161.25) and increase the number of recipients.
Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of local centerline miles. Municipalities compete for portions of their county's share. NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project. Of the $161.25 million awarded, there is $10 million allotted for municipalities qualifying for Urban Aid under state law, with the amounts determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
"This is why I worked to make sure that the Transportation Trust Fund includes a significant amount of support for infrastructure work at the local level," said Steve Sweeney, Senate president. "Local government identifying local issues, and state government helping to build solutions. It's encouraging to see our state take proactive steps in addressing our aging infrastructure, and I hope by working together through the upcoming budget negotiations, we can find even more state savings that can be used for transportation and infrastructure investments outside of the TTF."
"The hard-working families of 537 New Jersey communities will directly benefit from these grants," said Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Senate Transportation chair "These funds will be put to good use for needed road projects and safety enhancements."
"The residents of the 19th district and those across our state are truly seeing returns on their investments," said Assembly Speaker Coughlin. "The Transportation Trust Fund is benefitting local communities, from rebuilding and maintaining our infrastructure to helping create jobs. This funding will contribute to roadway and pedestrian improvements and most importantly it replaces local government spending for the purpose of keeping property taxes in check. I look forward to the final product of each project."
"I am pleased to see municipalities receive funding for critical transportation projects throughout the state," said Assemblyman Benson, who also is chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee. "After years of underfunding, NJDOT is continuing along the right track to support more local projects and improve our roads. Funding from the DOT Municipal Aid Programs goes a long way toward ensuring roadway safety for the state's motorists and lessening the burden on local taxpayers."
Applicants for Municipal Aid grants this year were submitted to NJDOT by October 2018 and have been judiciously reviewed. Within the Municipal Aid program there are seven project categories eligible for funding: Roadway Preservation, Roadway Safety, Quality of Life, Mobility, Bikeway, Pedestrian Safety, and Bridge Preservation. Past performance in connection with timely award of projects and project delivery were part of the evaluation of the proposals. When evaluating applications, NJDOT also verifies if the municipality has adopted Complete Streets policies. Complete Streets policies establishes guidelines that require consideration be given to pedestrians and bicyclists when local transportation projects are being planned, designed, and built.