The New Jersey Department of Transportation just announced $161.25 million in Local Aid grants to counties to repair and rehabilitate county roads and bridges throughout New Jersey. The grants are funded by New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund which was renewed and replenished several years ago.
Every one of New Jersey’s 21 counties will benefit from these vitally important funds. Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti’s Department has done an admirable job administering this important program. Now it’s up to New Jersey’s county governments to expedite project delivery and reinvest these dollars back into local transportation infrastructure.
Counties should rely on the expertise of consulting engineers to maximize the value of every dollar spent. Counties should also lean on the NJDOT’s recently launched Local Aid Resource Center. Counties should tap into the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank to leverage dollars even further. I-Bank Executive Director David Zimmer is a public finance wizard and word needs to get out about the amazing work he is doing. Lastly, counties must follow NJDOT’s procurement practices and select professional services like design and engineering based on their qualifications and expertise. Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) saves money by making sure every dollar is spent wisely and efficiently and is codified in New Jersey and Federal law.
Contact ACECNJ with any questions regarding NJDOT’s County Aid program or to discuss these issues further.
A county-by-county breakdown of the grant awards is here.