The Municipal Aid program is a competitive program intended to provide municipalities with transportation based grants to supplement their transportation programs. Starting in FY2018 the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) will provide $400 million in State Aid to municipalities and counties for local transportation improvements. Of that amount, the Municipal Aid Program will be funded at level of $140 million. Additionally $10 million is allotted for municipalities qualifying for Urban Aid under P.L. 1978 c.14 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-178 et seq.,). The individual allotments to qualifying municipalities are based on proportions determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
Each fiscal year, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) issues a solicitation announcement to municipalities inviting them to apply for funding for their specific project needs. The Municipal Aid Program is administered consistent with the language and formula distribution contained within the TTF legislation that allocates funds by county based a formula that considers population and municipal roadway miles.
Municipalities can apply for projects for Municipal Aid within one of the seven (7) categories below:
- Bikeway • Primary project purpose is for constructing new bikeways (e.g. bike lanes, bike paths, bike compatible roadways).
- Bridge Preservation • Primary project purpose is for improving the condition of bridge infrastructure (e.g. new deck, rehabilitation, replacement).
- Mobility • Primary project purpose is to enhance mobility and reduce congestion (e.g. adding lanes, signal optimization).
- Pedestrian Safety • Primary project purpose is to enhance pedestrian safety (e.g. new sidewalks, new crosswalks, traffic calming, pedestrian overpass).
- Quality of Life • Primary project purpose is for beautification, environmental mitigation, economic development or historic preservation.
- Roadway Preservation • Primary project purpose is for improving the condition of roadway infrastructure (e.g. resurfacing, reconstruction, drainage).
- Roadway Safety • Primary project purpose is to enhance vehicular safety (e.g. guide rail, signing, warning devices, and striping).
All applications for the Municipal Aid Program are to be submitted online through System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE). Each district office will review applications within their designated geographic area for completeness, make a field investigation, evaluate and assign a rating to each project. Applications receive points based on various criteria including existing conditions, Average Daily Traffic (ADT), safety improvements, and access to services to public. Other important criteria include the municipality’s special designation, whether the municipality has received an allotment within the last three years, and the municipality’s award and close-out performance on previously awarded State grants.
Projects for which online applications have been submitted are presented to a screening committee comprised of municipal engineers and NJDOT staff appointed by the Commissioner. The committee evaluates the projects presented and makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Transportation for consideration and approval. The State pays 75% of the funds at the time of award concurrence and the remainder on a reimbursement basis after acceptance by the municipality and the State of the work completed.