Lettiere unveils NJDOT Capital Program for FY 2005
Appearing before the Assembly Budget Committee, New Jersey Department
of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Jack Lettiere today unveiled
the department’s $2.58 billion capital program for NJDOT
and NJ TRANSIT for FY 2005. The FY 2005 capital program is a fiscally
responsible, yet robust investment in New Jersey’s transportation
network. The capital program fulfills Governor McGreevey’s
commitment to improving safety, easing congestion by using smart
growth and fix-it-first strategies, and providing needed property
tax relief to New Jersey’s counties and municipalities.
“This program will support jobs and encourage ‘Smart
Growth’ development through targeted capital investments,”
said Governor James E. McGreevey. “Virtually half the funding
will be provided for public transportation while new highway expansion
is limited to just four percent of spending. This substantial
investment in our transportation network will facilitate the movement
of over $7 billion worth of goods and services and directly support
over 100,000 jobs. Our program will enhance safety, stimulate
New Jersey’s economy, and increase quality of life.”
This $2.58 billion program implements Governor McGreevey’s
Smart Growth and Fix-It-First initiatives and will provide a significant
stimulus to the State’s economy. Roughly $1.4 billion of
the capital program is for use by the NJDOT, and $1.2 billion
by NJ TRANSIT.
At NJ TRANSIT, investments will be targeted to preserving and
upgrading a public transportation system that covers more than
5,000 square miles and facilitates more than 222 million annual
passenger trips. $257 million will be invested in rail state-of-good
repair needs such as basic track, signal, bridge and yard improvements;
$16 million will be invested in bus and light rail facility needs,
and will allow for the replacement of over 270 transit buses that
have exceeded their useful lives. In addition, $59 million will
be invested in system-wide improvements, including $9 million
for technology upgrades that will allow us to improve our efficiently
and reduce our annual operating costs and $15 million to improve
our on-board announcement system which has been a key customer
complaint. $76 million will be invested in rail station improvements
at Newark Broad Street Station, Ridgewood Station, Madison Station,
and Morristown Station. Finally, $7.5 million will be invested
towards fulfilling Governor McGreevey’s commitment to creating
20,000 new Park & Ride spaces statewide.
“This budget continues our Back to Basics priorities and
enables NJ TRANSIT to begin to reverse the historic practice of
transferring capital funds for operating expenses,” said
George Warrington, Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT.
The FY 2005 capital program allows NJDOT to repair and rehabilitate
over 15,000 lane miles of state highway, 32,000 miles of county
and municipal roadways, 5,000 state and local bridges. This robust
program will also put record amounts of work on the street. In
FY 2005 alone NJDOT will award more than $740 million worth of
engineering and construction contracts.
Improving safety is the NJDOT’s top priority and roughly
$100 million will be spent on engineering, education and enforcement
initiatives designed to increase safety on our highways and bridges.
“I will not be satisfied until fatality rates on our roadways
are zero, and the resources we are investing in the Engineering,
Enforcement, and Education components of Governor McGreevey’s
Safety First Initiative are paying dividends, said Commissioner
Jack Lettiere. “This capital program furthers that commitment
and will continue to reduce the number of accidents down.”
The FY 2005 capital program invests $8.3 million for the Emergency
Service Patrol Program; 4 million for the Safe Corridors Program;
$1 million for improvements at intersections with especially high
accident rates, and $4 million for the Safe Streets to School
The FY 2005 program prioritizes transportation needs in accordance
with Governor McGreevey’s Fix-It-First initiative. Once
again, expansion projects will be held to 4% of the overall capital
As part of the Fix-It-First initiative, NJDOT will spend $370
million to repair and replace 71 bridges, including $12 million
for construction of a new fixed-span Manasquan Bridge in Monmouth
County and $34 million for a new Routes 1&9 Elizabeth River
Bridge in Union County.
$150 million will be invested in roadway preservation, targeting
the worst roads first, including $7 million to rehabilitate I-295
from I-195 to Route 1 in Mercer County.
$235 million is allocated for FY 2005 to ease congestion throughout
the state. These measures will make travel on New Jersey’s
highways more efficient and will help reduce emissions, protecting
the air we breathe. Included is $5.9 million for intersection
safety improvements at Route 1&9 North Avenue in Elizabeth
and $24.2 million to eliminate the Route 30 Berlin Circle.
Finally, NJDOT’s Local Aid program will provide significant
property tax relief to New Jersey counties and municipalities
by making direct investments in local communities. NJDOT’s
$260 million investment in Local Aid will help rebuild and revitalize
communities, improve safety, and enhance the quality of life in
New Jersey’s downtowns.
The entire Proposed
Fiscal Year 2005 Capital Program is available on NJDOT’s
web site and is broken down by projects, counties and routes.