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The Commissioner's Report

(archived)


2009 in review: Federal Stimulus

As 2009 has officially come to a close, I'd like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2009 brought many challenges and opportunities to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) but with outstanding teamwork we achieved a great deal on behalf of the people of the State of New Jersey.

As the first weeks of 2010 progress, I wanted to take the opportunity over the new few days to highlight some of our achievements in 2009.

2009 offered us a historic opportunity on February 17, when President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This economic stimulus package brought more than $1 billion for critical improvements for New Jersey's transportation infrastructure, including almost $652 million for highways and bridges and $424 million for transit improvements across the state.

NJDOT is utilizing nearly $469 million for projects to make improvements on the state highway system. We advanced 40 projects - 30 construction projects, nine design projects and one Right of Way acquisition for a critical South Jersey project. Through a true team effort, the Department awarded all 30 construction projects by August 15 and all of these construction projects have now advanced to construction. Final design work for nine projects is also being accelerated to allow the construction of these projects to begin sooner than originally planned and the advancement of Right of Way purchase for a critical South Jersey congestion relief project has also be initiated.

Utilizing the ARRA funding will allow NJDOT to make significant improvements to our transportation system. The 30 construction projects will allow the Department to:

  • Address 23 structurally deficient bridges;
  • Replace two deficient moveable bridges on Route 52;
  • Preserve 40 bridge decks;
  • Paint and provide for steel repairs to 45 interstate highway bridges along three corridors;
  • Paint and provide for steel repairs for two moveable bridges;
  • Resurfacing of 219 lane miles of deficient pavement;
  • Improvements for five priority drainage locations; and
  • Construction of new median guide rails on 18.6 miles at various accident cluster locations

Due to careful planning and a favorable bid environment, the Department will have ARRA funds available to advance four additional construction projects sooner than anticipated. We received approval from the State Legislative Joint Budget Oversight Committee in early December to advance these four additional construction projects utilizing ARRA funding. We are now moving forward to get these projects to construction as quickly as possible.

We also made sure that the impacts of the federal stimulus would benefit transportation infrastructure for our counties and municipalities. Therefore, $164 million was sub allocated to New Jersey's three Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to identify and select eligible projects. It has truly been a cooperative effort between NJDOT, the MPOs and the county and municipal recipients of ARRA funds to advance these projects. There are 86 local ARRA projects statewide being funded through the MPO sub allocation.

We also continue to advance the $19.5 million in ARRA funding that we received for the Transportation Enhancement program.

There is still work to be done and we must remain diligent as we continue to meet the requirements and deadlines of the Recovery Act.

I am proud of the work that this Department has done to improve our critical transportation infrastructure through ARRA and cooperative working relationships we have had with our partners at the Federal Highway Administration, the state's three MPOs and also the local recipients.

I would also like to thank everyone at NJDOT who worked so diligently to ensure the funding was in place, those who accelerated the process and those who will see the projects to completion and eventual success.

 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  January 13, 2010