Bill Providing Immediate Boost of $400M for TTF Includes Funds for Key Infrastructure Work
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Nicholas P. Scutari today announced the allocation of transportation funding to advance the Tremley Point Connector, a long-sought infrastructure project that is vital to improving roadway safety and fueling economic development in the region. Freeholders Christopher Hudak and Angel Estrada, Assemblymen Jerry Green and Jim Kennedy, Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, and Linden Mayor Derek Armstead were among those who also participated in the news conference. U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, who has long advocated the project, applauded the result.
Funding for the project is included in the recently-enacted legislation providing an immediate boost of $400 million to the Transportation Trust Fund this year.
“The Tremley Point Connector will keep 18-wheelers that come off the highway out of residential neighborhoods, allow trucking companies to save dollars by reducing the cost of their vehicles sitting in traffic and increase access to land that businesses will be inclined to develop,” said Senator Sweeney. “It’s good for transportation, for the economy and for the quality of life. This is why we renewed the Transportation Trust Fund for eight years and why we increased funding by $400 million this year. This project is ready to go and we now have money in the TTF to pay for it.”
The Tremley Point Connector will create a key access road to remove heavy truck traffic from local roadways and facilitate the flow of commercial services and products with a direct connection from the New Jersey Turnpike to the Tremley Point section of Linden, an industrialized area that is critical to the regional economy.
“We knew that getting transportation dollars out the door immediately was crucial to getting vitally-needed infrastructure projects moving across the state,” said Senator Scutari, who has worked with the state Transportation Department for years to get the project done. “This is significant progress on a project that we have been working on for years and that will benefit the residents of Linden and Union County. We were able to move quickly on this project with the increase to the TTF.”
The immediate allocation will be for $2 million to complete the preliminary engineering work needed to follow through on the project, which will also attract federal funds.
“In 2005, I secured $100 million for the Liberty Corridor—a set of projects to improve northern New Jersey’s mobility, and to ensure that our businesses have the infrastructure they need to bring their goods to market and compete in the global economy,” Senator Menendez said. “The Tremley Point Connector Road is an integral part of this effort, and I’m pleased that through this commitment of state funds secured by Senate President Sweeney, Senator Scutari and all of our county and local partners, we can move towards making this project a reality.”
The Exit 12 access road from the Turnpike now directs traffic through the South Wood Avenue section of the city. The proposed connector will intersect with Industrial Highway in Carteret, traverse the Rahway River and connect at Tremley Point Road in Linden. It would provide direct access between New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 12 via Industrial Highway and the Tremley Point area of Linden.
“This project is important for roadway safety in the local community and for economic activity in the region,” said Sheriff Cryan. “Completion of the connector will address safety concerns in residential areas and create an opportunity for economic benefits by allowing for the efficient flow of traffic and the development of unused property in the area.”
Freeholder Hudak noted the project had been a priority of the County, which had developed plans for it, for many years, but had lacked funding until now.
“The construction of the Tremley Point Connector Road is vital to the economic and public safety interests to the region as a whole and to the residents of the City of Linden, especially those who are impacted by the current truck and industrial traffic to this area,” said Hudak, a resident of Linden. “It will also free up development that could create thousands of jobs. I would like to thank Senators Sweeney and Scutari for making this a reality.”
The transportation funding bill that will immediately pump an additional $400 million into the TTF for infrastructure work includes $140 million for NJ Transit for technology improvements and system safety and $260 million for work on roads and bridges throughout the state.
The funding will be distributed within 100 days for projects identified by the Department of Transportation through the Transportation Trust Fund selection process. The added funding for the 2017 Fiscal Year will boost total spending to $2 billion, the same level that will be sustained over the next eight years under the plan that renewed the TTF.