In the Municipal Aid program, funds are appropriated by the Legislature for municipalities in each county based on a formula contained in legislation. Additionally, $5 million is allotted for those municipalities that qualify for Urban Aid. Urban Aid is distributed by a formula that is computed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
Each spring, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announces the program for that fiscal year and invites municipalities to apply. Road improvement projects such as resurfacing, rehabilitation or reconstruction and signalization are funded from the $78.75 million in municipal aid distributed by formula.
All applications for the Municipal Aid Program are to be submitted online through SAGE (System for Administering Grants Electronically). Each district office will review applications within their designated geographic area for completeness, make a field investigation, evaluate and assign a rating to each project. Applications receive points based on various criteria including existing road conditions, Average Daily Traffic (ADT), safety improvements, and access to nodes (schools, residential areas, employment centers, etc). Other important criteria include the project’s readiness to construct, whether the municipality has received an allotment within the last three years, and the municipality’s award and close-out performance on previously awarded State grants.
Projects for which online applications have been submitted are presented to a screening committee comprised of municipal engineers and NJDOT staff appointed by the Commissioner. The committee evaluates the projects presented and makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Transportation for consideration and approval. The State pays 75% of the funds at the time of bid approval and the remainder on a reimbursement basis after acceptance by the municipality and the State of the work completed.
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