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May 7, 2021 12:00 PM, EDT

New Jersey DOT Distributes Over $47 Million for Local Bridges

Cape May NJCape May Lighthouse at Cape May, N.J. Cape May County received three bridge grants totaling about $3 million. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

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The New Jersey Department of Transportation announced $47.3 million in grant funding has been awarded to local government agencies to assist with bridge maintenance projects.

The 39 Local Bridge Fund grants that were announced May 4 will support structures in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The grant program, administered by NJDOT’s Local Aid and Economic Development division, is supported by the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

“[Gov. Phil Murphy’s] administration is committed to improving the quality of life in New Jersey, and the Local Bridge Fund program does that as part of NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities [initiative],” said NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “By providing grants to improve county-owned bridges throughout the state, we are helping local governments make critical infrastructure investments that improve the reliability of our statewide transportation network without having to impact local property taxes.”

Gutierrez-Scaccetti’s Commitment to Communities initiative is meant to highlight NJDOT’s mission to serve transportation system users. Commitment to Communities began in 2018 as a way to assist local government groups with spending money directed to them through the Transportation Trust Fund.

The grant funding is directed to repair, reconstruction and replacement efforts for bridges with structural deficiencies. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, 7.4% of New Jersey’s bridges are classified as structurally deficient.

The Transportation Trust Fund is overseen by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority, an independent agency whose mission is to finance the cost of planning, acquisition, engineering, construction, repair and rehabilitation of the state’s transportation system.

The largest individual grant, representing $5.9 million, was issued to Monmouth County to replace a bridge that traverses Matawan Creek. Matawan is located in central New Jersey, a few miles from the Raritan Bay.

Mercer County, which encompasses Trenton, received three grants totaling $3.2 million. Cape May County also received three grants totaling about $3 million. One grant will support a bridge substructure rehabilitation, while the other two will help with bridge railing replacements. The southernmost county in New Jersey, Cape May is located across the Delaware Bay from Rehoboth Beach.

NJ LocalBridgeFundGrantAwards by Transport Topics

Some $2.4 million was awarded for the replacement of Nacote Creek Bridge in Port Republic, which is located 17 miles from Atlantic City. About $1.7 million will be used for miscellaneous repairs to Hudson County bridges. Located across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Hudson County includes Jersey City and Hoboken.

Besides the Local Bridge Fund, NJDOT maintains a couple of programs to support local infrastructure projects. The agency administers the Local Freight Impact Fund, which awards funds to counties and municipalities for projects designed to facilitate the safe movement of truck traffic. On March 17, NJDOT announced 33 grants representing $30.1 million had been awarded through this program.

NJDOT also administers the Municipal Aid grant program, which supplies cities and towns with funds for transportation-related projects. In November, Murphy announced $161.2 million in grants through this program, which provided 543 cities and towns with funds for road and bridge improvements.

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