Somerset County to Receive $4.3 Million for 3 Road Safety Projects
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees has approved $4,275,000 for three projects that will make travel safer in Bridgewater, North Plainfield and Bedminster.
“These projects will help us protect motorists and pedestrians alike on what have been some of our county’s most crash-prone roadways,” said Somerset County Freeholder Director and NJTPA Board Secretary Peter S. Palmer. “I’m very pleased with the extraordinary commitment of federal funding the NJTPA has made to Somerset County through these programs.”
The projects were approved for grants through the NJTPA’s Fiscal Year 2014 Local Safety and High Risk Rural Roads programs, which provide federal funds to counties for high-impact safety improvements that are relatively “quick-fix” in nature and are ready for construction.
In the largest of the three projects, a series of improvements will be made to curving and hilly segments of Burnt Mills Road (CR 620), Lamington Road (CR 523) and Pottersville Road (CR 512) in Bedminster. Upgrades will include the application of anti-skid surface treatment, new signs, high-visibility pavement markings and centerline rumble strips. To make bicycle travel safer, “Share the Road” signs will be placed at key locations and aprons will be installed at some driveways to prevent stones from migrating to the roadway edges. The project will be funded through a $3,564,000 High Risk Rural Roads Program grant – the largest since the program was established in 2008.
The second project entails several upgrades designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety on Mountain Avenue (CR 642) between U.S. Highway 22 and Somerset Street in North Plainfield. Intersections along the corridor will receive high-visibility crosswalk markings, pedestrian countdown beacons, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk ramps and new signs. A striped shoulder will be provided to narrow the driving lane and slow traffic, and no-parking areas will be striped near intersections to improve the sight distances for both drivers and pedestrians. The $400,000 project will be funded through the Local Safety Program.
In Bridgewater, a series of upgrades will be made to reduce wet-weather crashes along a winding stretch of Chimney Rock Road (CR 525) from Thompson Avenue to Gilbride Road. Improvements will include skid-resistant surface treatment, high-visibility pavement markings and centerline rumble strips. The $311,000 project will be funded through the Local Safety Program.
In total, the NJTPA will allocate approximately $9.7 million for Local Safety Program projects and $5.4 million for High Risk Rural Road Program projects in FY 2014, which represents the largest investment since the programs’ inceptions. More information on these programs is available at www.njtpa.org/Project-Programs/Project-Development/Local-Safety.aspx
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.