News Throughout Bergen County, NJ

North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority stimulus projects on track for Bergen County

Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerneyNORTH JERSEY – All of northern and central New Jersey's local transportation projects funded with federal stimulus dollars were authorized in advance of the deadline set by Congress. In all, 62 locally led projects totaling approximately $124 million have been authorized in the 13-county region of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA).

"These projects create jobs and serve as investments in our region's future," said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney, Chairman of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. "These lasting improvements to our transportation infrastructure benefit our regional economy and quality of life. Here in Bergen County, for example, we're using stimulus funds to replace the aging Court Street Bridge in Hackensack."

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, all projects using stimulus funds were required to be authorized by March 2, approximately one year after the bill was signed into law. Authorization means the project has received all necessary federal approvals and can be put out for bid. Projects are subject to all applicable federal regulations regarding safety, the environment and other factors.

Projects in the NJTPA region include road resurfacing, bridge repair, pedestrian improvements and other work. At this point, one project is complete; four are under construction; eight have awarded contracts but not yet gone to construction; four are undergoing bid evaluation; 27 are being advertised for bids; and 18 are authorized and are anticipated to be out to bid within the next 60 days.

The NJTPA focused its allocated funds primarily on projects at the county level, in an effort to see that stimulus dollars went to improve local infrastructure, said Morris County Freeholder Director Gene F. Feyl, First Vice Chairman of the NJTPA Board of Trustees and Chairman of the NJTPA Project Prioritization Committee.

"County roads and bridges are a critical part of the overall transportation network," Feyl said. "With these investments, the NJTPA is working to improve key infrastructure that is used every day by tens of thousands of people in our region." Morris County is home to the region's first completed local stimulus project: the resurfacing of Mendham Road between Indianhead and Kadena roads. The County also is resurfacing several other roads, restoring the Chester Branch Railroad and improving traffic signals and an intersection with stimulus funds.

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey Counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region's current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region's eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.

The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor's Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Directors of NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen's Representative appointed by the Governor.