Speaking at a press conference in East Orange earlier Friday, Governor Phil Murphy, Lieutenant Governor Oliver, and DOT Commissioner 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,” Murphy said. “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.”
For Lakewood, $501,375 was awarded, which will go toward the “Route 88 Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project.”
Toms River received $365,000 to go toward the “Elevation of Harbor Court, Canal Lane and Harbor Drive.”
And Jackson received $375,000 for improvements to Brewers Bridge Road, Phase III.
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.
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.
Click here for a list of Municipal Aid grant awards.