541 New Jersey cities and towns will receive $161.25 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Municipal Aid grants. The funds are intended to provide assistance to advance road, bridge, safety, and quality-of-life improvements. The announcement was made by Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
According to a State of New Jersey press release, the competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 625 applications from 547 different municipalities with a total of $363 million requested. Project applications were evaluated and rated on their merits by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) staff. It was also reviewed by an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers.
This process resulted in 546 awards to 541 municipalities, totaling $161.25 million. The 2016 Transportation Trust Fund renewal has made it possible to continue to award $161.25 million annually. This represents more than double the $78.75 million that was available before the TTF renewal.
In addition, the extra funds have allowed the Department to increase the number of municipalities receiving grants from about 370 a year prior to the TTF renewal to 541 municipalities this year.
“These funds are crucial to municipalities for the completion of projects that improve quality of life and safety for New Jersey residents,” said Governor Murphy. “Under our Administration’s leadership, the Transportation Trust Fund continues to bolster infrastructure statewide. I congratulate all municipalities that have received grants and look forward to them putting these dollars to use.”
NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the planned improvements are made without “burdening local property taxpayers.”
“The Murphy Administration is committed to improving local communities by providing millions of dollars in aid to municipalities to make important safety, infrastructure, and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers. We are pleased to award grants to nearly every municipality in New Jersey,” the Commissioner stated.
Applications for municipal assistance grants were submitted to NJDOT prior to July 1, 2021 and have been reviewed on a judgmental basis.There are seven project categories within the Municipal Aid grant program eligible for funding: Roadway Preservation, Roadway Safety, Quality of Life, Mobility, Bikeway, Pedestrian Safety, and Bridge Preservation.
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Under the municipal aid program, each county is assigned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of kilometers of local central lines. 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, $10 million is allotted for municipalities qualifying for Urban Aid as defined under state law, with the amounts determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
The evaluation of proposals considered past performance in connection with timely award of projects and construction closeout factors.
In addition, during the evaluation of applications, NJDOT also verifies if the municipality has adopted a Complete Streets policy. A Complete Streets policy establishes guidelines that require consideration be given to pedestrians and bicyclists when local transportation projects are being planned, designed, and built.