Draft Fiscal Year 200 Capital
Program Submitted to Legislature
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein today submitted to the State Legislature a $2.09 billion draft capital improvement program for NJDOT and NJ TRANSIT, an increase of more than $500 million or 33% above the current year’s outlay.
"Last May, Governor Christie Whitman proposed a transportation vision for our state, NJ FIRST," Commissioner Weinstein said. "This capital program -- the largest ever -- implements the key goals of NJ FIRST: preserving and maintaining our roads and bridges, supporting local governments, emphasizing quality of life projects like bikepaths and pedestrian safety improvements, and establishing the foundation for economic growth and redevelopment of our cities."
The rebuilding and continued upkeep of the existing transportation system is the largest single category of spending, accounting for 49% of the capital program.
"The Draft Fiscal Year 2000 program is the result of extensive public discussions and local outreach," Commissioner Weinstein said. "Working together with the state’s three regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations, we have developed a comprehensive program that will not only improve our transportation system, but help us to draw down all available federal funding in a timely fashion."
The large number of bridge repair, rebuilding and replacement projects illustrates the capital budget’s focus on the state’s existing transportation system, Weinstein noted.
"One of our highest priorities is reducing the backlog of needed bridge projects," the Commissioner said. "I am pleased to say that this program aggressively attacks this backlog. We have also proposed a $45 million federal and state funding category for local bridge needs."
Among the key bridge projects included in the program are:
"Public transit is also well-served by this program," Weinstein noted. "NJ TRANSIT will receive nearly 40 percent of the total funding in this program. We’re creating more opportunities to use public transit through construction of the new Hudson Bergen Light Rail line and the building of connections between existing rail lines to create a seamless system."
- Route 1 and 9 Elizabeth River Viaduct.
- Route 9, Edison Bridge over the Raritan River.
- Route 36 bridge over the Shrewsbury River.
- Route 52, Somers Point-Ocean City bridge.
Strategic mobility projects to eliminate missing links in the roadway system include:
"Another important, and often overlooked, goal of this program is to advance a "travel-friendly" transportation system," the Commissioner said. "And that means getting people to where they want to go safely, efficiently and with less inconvenience. From construction of more computerized traffic signal systems, to improving our directional signs, this program delivers."
- Route 18 Extension.
- Route 21 Missing Link
- Route 33 Freehold Bypass.
- Route 206 Hillsborough Bypass.
A new pedestrian safety program to identity and correct unsafe conditions on local streets is included in the capital program.
"This program advances transportation projects that improve our quality of life and promote community values," Weinstein said. "These efforts include landscaping projects, expanded rail station and bus terminals upgrades, and full funding for Transportation Enhancements."