State officials have announced that 95 percent of New Jersey municipalities – including Allentown, Millstone Township and Upper Freehold Township – will receive Municipal Aid grant awards totaling $161.25 million this year.
A total of 537 municipalities across the state are receiving grants to advance road, bridge, safety and quality-of-life improvements in an effort to continue the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) Commitment to Communities’ efforts, according to a press release.
“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,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
“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,” DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.
• Allentown will receive $225,000 for improvements to Pondview Drive.
Allentown officials said an application was submitted by Borough Engineer Carmela Roberts to acquire funding for milling and overlay with base repairs as needed along the entire length of Pondview Drive from North Main Street to the cul-de-sac.
The proposed improvements will include the replacement of deteriorated curb, new sidewalk where none exists, the reconstruction of curb tamps to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, the replacement of regulatory signs, and 2-inch mill overlay with sub-base repairs where needed.
Upgrades of existing inlets to meet DOT bicycle safe grate standards and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection storm water regulations will also be included. The total project cost is estimated at $323,565.
• Millstone Township will receive $225,000 for improvements to Disbrow Hill Road.
Millstone Township’s business administrator, Roger Staib, said the primary purpose of the project is to improve the infrastructure condition of the road (resurface, reconstruct, drainage, crack repair). The scope of the project is from Perrineville Road to North Disbrow Hill Road.
Staib said the $225,000 to be provided by the state will not cover the cost of the entire project. He said Millstone Township “will be required to add an as yet undetermined amount of money which is predicated upon budget approval and bid results.”
• Upper Freehold Township will receive $225,000 for Jonathan Holmes Road, Phase II.
Municipal officials did not respond to a request for a description of the work that is planned on Jonathan Holmes Road.
Local legislators Assemblyman Ron Dancer and Assemblyman Rob Clifton said 13 municipalities in the 12th Legislative District will receive more than $3.1 million.
“The roads have taken a beating from another unpredictable New Jersey winter,” said Dancer (R-Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Burlington). “This is welcome news. The badly needed state investment will help maintain the roads without burdening local property taxpayers with another costly expense.”
“Local commuters and families will benefit from these important road projects,” said Clifton (R-Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Burlington). “The improvements will increase safety, patch potholes, enhance drainage and pave roads traveled daily by people in our district.”
The competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 681 applications from 544 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 the DOT, according to the press release.
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 million) and increase the number of recipients, according to the press release.
Applicants for Municipal Aid grants this year were submitted to the DOT by October 2018. Within the Municipal Aid program there are seven project categories eligible for funding: Road Preservation; Road Safety; Quality of Life; Mobility; Bikeway; Pedestrian Safety; and Bridge Preservation, according to the press release.