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News Throughout Bergen County, NJ

Bergen to benefit from transportation stimulus funds

New Jersey Turnpike signs
New Jersey Turnpike
The Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) on Friday unanimously endorsed a set of road, rail, bridge and other transportation investments that will use more than $750 million in federal stimulus funds.

The Board adopted a set of "ready to go" projects to be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at a special meeting held on March 13. The projects represent the spectrum of transportation needs in the region, including maintenance and expansion of the mass transit system, repair and upkeep of critical bridges, key road resurfacings, and projects to enhance pedestrian mobility and safety.

"Today’s action serves two very important purposes," said NJTPA Chairman Susan M. Zellman, a Sussex County Freeholder. "First, it will address many of our region’s most critical infrastructure needs. Perhaps even more importantly, it will put people to work, providing much-needed employment during this period of economic uncertainty."

Since January, the NJTPA worked with its 13 member counties and two member cities, as well as the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and NJ Transit, to develop a set of shovel-ready projects that could be delivered quickly and efficiently to meet the strict timeframes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Dennis McNerney
County Exec Dennis McNerney
"The President and Congress have made it clear that these funds should be invested quickly and efficiently to make an immediate, positive impact on the economy," said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, who serves as Chairman of the NJTPA’s Project Prioritization Committee and First Vice Chairman of the Board. "These projects will ensure this happens in our region."

Federal stimulus funding for the approved projects totals $750.1 million. As the federally endorsed Metropolitan Planning Organization for a 13-county area in northern and central New Jersey, the NJTPA must approve all federal transportation investment in the region.

The funding includes $286.2 million for state road and bridge projects in the region and $341.62 for NJ Transit projects in the region. It also includes $124 million for locally led projects selected by the NJTPA, including road resurfacing, signalization and safety improvements, and bridge rehabilitations and replacements on the county road system.

"The State of New Jersey is ready to start these critical transportation projects, which will create jobs and improve our infrastructure," said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts, a member of the NJTPA Board. "We look forward to working with our federal partners and the NJTPA to quickly move forward on these projects."

NJDOT funding will address the needs of aging bridges by replacing movable bridges, rehabilitating bridge decks and beams, and other bridge maintenance. In addition, NJDOT will use federal stimulus funding to reconstruct and resurface highways and improve drainage systems and highway safety.

NJ TRANSIT is prepared to advance or accelerate key capital projects with ARRA funding. These projects include key maintenance initiatives as well as long-term improvements. Stimulus funds will be devoted to signal and track improvement projects, park and rides and station facilities, and the Mass Transit Tunnel.