N.J. gets $29 million to repair county-owned bridges

Nearly $29 million has been awarded to New Jersey counties through a state-funded Local Aid program to help repair or replace 31 county-owned bridges.

“This program has already enabled counties to remove 53 bridges from a list of nearly 290 bridges that were rated deficient, obsolete or otherwise in need of repair,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner James Simpson. “These new grants will fund state-of-good-repair improvements for another 31 bridges, promoting safety and optimizing traffic flow.”

Including the FY 11 round of grants, 84 county bridges have been or will be improved through this program since it began in 2009.

Under the grant program, each of the state’s 21 counties receives $1 million to advance one or more bridge project.  An additional $4 million is distributed on a competitive cost-benefit basis. All grant-eligible bridges are rated structurally deficient, functionally obsolete or scour-critical. Scour refers to soil erosion around bridge abutments, wing walls or piers.

The FY 11 local bridge grants also include $4 million in unexpended FY 10 funds, bringing the total awarded to $29 million.

The grants are for construction costs only. Seventy-five percent of a grant will be provided to a county upon contract award, with the balance provided upon project completion.