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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

 


Frequently Asked Questions

The following provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding the stimulus package.

Q. How will this help New Jersey?
A. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will provide urgently needed transportation funding that will help address New Jersey’s aging infrastructure and create jobs to spur our state’s economy.
   
Q. How much of this funding will be dedicated to New Jersey's transportation assets?
A.

The ARRA is expected to provide approximately $652 million for New Jersey’s highway and bridge infrastructure projects (pdf 59k) and approximately $425 million for New Jersey’s transit projects (pdf 57k).

In addition to dedicated funding to states, Congress has established a $1.5 billion discretionary grant program for projects that will significantly impact the nation, a metropolitan area or a region, of which no state can receive more than 20 percent. The Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is required to publish the criteria for this program within 90 days of February 17, 2009.

The files above are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free from the state Adobe Access page, to view the files.

   
Q. What is the breakdown in funding for New Jersey and how will projects be selected for funding?
A.

The distribution and breakdown of funding within New Jersey is governed by the language of the ARRA. Of the $652 million in highway and bridge funding, over $468 million is dedicated to state highway and bridge projects selected by New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). NJDOT selected these projects based on regional balance as well as each project's readiness to start construction, design or right-of-way acquisition.

Over $164 million was suballocated for projects that were selected by each of the State's three Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Projects may be located on the state, county or municipal system, provided that they meet federal criteria. Each MPO selected projects for funding based on its own prioritization process, but readiness for advancement played a major part in MPO project selection.

The three Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO's) in New Jersey are:

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) covers the northern counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is responsible for the counties of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer.

The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) is responsible for the southern counties of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem.

   
Q. Which projects are eligible for funding?
A.

The following eligibility requirements apply to highway and bridge projects under the oversight of the FHWA.

For Construction projects:

  • Projects must be located on routes classified as federal-aid system routes which include interstates, state highways, and specifically designated county and municipal roads.
  • Federal environmental impact documentation must be completed.
  • Required environmental permits must be approved including New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reviews.
  • All required property for the project must be acquired by the lead agency.
  • The project must be approved by the MPO Board and programmed in the MPO’s regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the State’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
  • Plans and specifications must be prepared and ready for advertisement and bidding.
  • Must meet Buy America requirements.

For Design projects:

  • Projects must be located on routes classified as federal-aid system routes which include interstates, state highways, and specifically designated county and municipal roads.
  • If using a consultant designer, the designer must have been selected in compliance with the current procedures.
  • A final, detailed negotiated design cost must be established.
  • All remaining phases of the project, including right-of-way acquisition and construction, must be programmed in the MPO’s regional TIP and the State’s STIP.
  • Must meet Buy America requirements.

For Right-of-Way acquisition projects:

  • Projects must be located on routes classified as federal-aid system routes which include interstates, state highways, and specifically designated county and municipal roads.
  • If using a consultant designer, the designer must have been selected in compliance with the current procedures.
  • A final, detailed negotiated design cost must be established.
  • All remaining phases of the project, including right-of-way acquisition and construction, must be programmed in the MPO’s regional TIP and the State’s STIP.
  • Must meet Buy America requirements.

For more information, visit the USDOT's FHWA Web site.

According to guidance from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the following eligibility requirements apply to Transit projects:

  • FTA program requirements (planning/National Environmental Policy Act/Buy America/13(c)) cannot be waived.
  • 100 percent Federal share, except New Starts.
  • Only capital expenses are eligible (preventive maintenance is eligible).
  • Projects may not commingle FTA Chapter 53 Program and Economic Recovery Funds in the same grant.
  • Funds not obligated within proscribed time frames will be retracted and reallocated.

For more information, visit the FTA Web site.

   
Q. Will the legislation fund county and municipal transportation projects?
A. Yes. We anticipate that approximately $164 million of the highway and bridge funding will fund projects located on eligible federal-aid routes and will be selected by one of the three MPO's. Projects must be located on routes classified as federal-aid system routes, meaning local roads and rural minor collectors may not be eligible.

In addition to this funding, counties and municipalities may be able to apply for grants under the $1.5 billion discretionary program subject to criteria to be established by the USDOT within 90 days of February 17, 2009.

ARRA suballocates to NJDOT approximately $19.5 million for Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects. TE projects are designed to foster more livable communities, preserve and protect environmental and cultural resources and promote alternative modes of transportation. Any municipal or county government, non-profit organization or State agency may submit a TE application. However, the municipal governing body in which the project is located must support the project. All federal eligibility requirements for TE funding must be met.

NJDOT will consider TE projects from previous Local Aid solicitations that can be authorized for construction within 120 days for ARRA Transportation Enhancement funding. In addition, a new NJDOT Transportation Enhancement solicitation will be announced for additional projects that can be ready for authorization of ARRA funds within one year.

   
Q. Will there be time frames for the expenditure of funds?
A.

NJDOT is required to receive FHWA authorization for 50 percent of funds allocated to NJDOT projects within 120 days of apportionment by FHWA.

NJDOT has surpassed this goal. FHWA obligated funds for 100 percent of NJDOT's planned ARRA projects on June 25.

All remaining funds must be authorized by FHWA for expenditure within one year.

All suballocated funds must be authorized within one year of apportionment to the three MPO's.

   
Q. Will the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provide opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises?
A.

Yes, the recovery package will provide opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned businesses. Projects funded by the stimulus package will be subject to NJDOT's existing annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goal. Our existing annual goal is 15.7 percent; each specific project will vary.

In anticipation of the increased opportunities, the Department is holding forums for existing and potential Disadvantaged and Small Business Enterprises to discuss the anticipated work and to facilitate their participation in NJDOT business.

   
Q. Will there be reporting requirements?
A.

Yes. Each recipient of funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be subject to strict reporting requirements. Recipients will submit reports no later than 90 days after February 17, 2009 and updated reports not later than 180 days, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years after date of enactment. The reporting requirements will include the following items:

  • Amount of Federal funds appropriated, allocated, obligated, and outlayed under the appropriation.
  • Number of projects that have been put out to bid.
  • Number of projects for which contracts have been awarded.
  • Number of projects for which work has been completed.
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Emerging Small Business Enterprise (ESBE) objectives for contract awards.
  • Number of direct and estimate of indirect jobs.
   
 
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  Last Updated:  July 6, 2009