On September 6, 2010, President Barack Obama proposed a six-year, $50 billion plan to rebuild the nation’s highways, railways and airport runways. Obama’s plan includes rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, construction and maintenance of 4,000 miles of railway – enough tracks to span the continent — and rehabilitation or reconstruction of 150 miles of airport runways. He also called for an “infrastructure bank” that would focus on paying for national and regional transportation projects.
It seems that Pennsylvania and New Jersey are heeding Obama’s call by making transportation a priority in the Keystone and Garden States.
New 5-Year Plan for New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced this past Thursday a 5-year, $8 billion plan to renew the State’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and provide funding for New Jersey road and bridge projects. The annual $1.6 billion program will provide approximately $200 million for local government projects, $672 million for New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) projects and $728 for New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT) projects. The plan significantly increases cash contributions to the program, as compared to prior years, and relies less on borrowing bonds. Christie’s proposal will change the type of debt New Jersey will use to fund future transportation projects, and will include no toll or tax increases. In addition to the $1.6 billion program for local government projects, NJ Transit and NJDOT, the plan includes approximately $363 million average per year for projects that will be funded by the New York/New Jersey Port Authority in conjunction with NJDOT.
State projects slated to be funded through the Port Authority monies include a plan to renovate the Pulaski Skyway, the Route 7 Whitpenn Bridge and a new roadway in the Portway District of New Jersey.
Christie said that, “this is a significant commitment from the Port Authority to make our roadways and bridges safer as we travel through the port district.”
Want to Learn More about the TTF Plan?
NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson will review Gov. Christie’s TTF renewal plan at the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association’s (UTCA) upcoming membership meeting. The meeting is scheduled for January 13, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza in Jamesburg, New Jersey. Please contact the UTCA office at (732) 292-4300 for more information.
Smart Transportation Projects in Pennsylvania
The winners of the second round of the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative have been announced, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. Forty-one communities across the state will get a portion of a $24.7 million fund to help boost “Smart Transportation” projects.
“Smart Transportation means partnering to build great communities for future generations of Pennsylvanians by linking transpiration investments and land-use planning and decision making,” said Biehler.
Smart Transportation projects are initiatives that support local economic development; encourage walkable, multimodal mixed-use development; improve regional connectivity or enhance the existing transportation network.
Projects That Will Receive Funding
Borough of New Oxford will receive $74,500 to develop a plan to calm traffic and improve pedestrian access in the center square area.
- Airport Corridor Transportation Association will receive $700,000 to reduce congestion and provide better transit, pedestrian, and bicycle access near the Robinson and North Fayette Township commercial area.
- City of Pittsburgh will receive $280,000 to develop a multi-modal traffic simulation and land-use model for the city’s Strip District.
- Richland Township will receive $1,300,000 to improve pedestrian access and traffic flow by constructing sidewalks, a median, and creating left turn lanes near the intersection of Route 8 and Ewalt Road.
County of Armstrong will receive $300,000 to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of traffic flow and safety improvements for Kittanning Borough.
Borough of Tyrone will receive $517,324 to enhance Pennsylvania Avenue by improving pedestrian access and calming traffic.
Falls Township will receive $90,000 to improve traffic flow and access management along Trenton Avenue.
Richland Township will receive $713,000 to create a community gateway on Trumbauersville Road.
Borough of Saxonburg will receive $1,422,017 for enhancements to the historic Main Street.
City of Johnstown will receive $1,500,000 to improve the connection between Route 56 and Main Street and create a gateway to the central business district.
Centre Area Transportation Authority will receive $100,000 to investigate an approach to provide universal transit access to the residents within the greater State College area.
- Borough of Phoenixville will receive $598,000 to implement streetscape amenities on Bridge Street initiated by the borough’s residents, merchants, and building owners.
- County of Chester will receive $85,000 to complete a bicycle and pedestrian multi-municipal master plan emphasizing linkages to regional trails and access to transportation centers in central Chester County.
- Pennsbury Township will receive $80,000 to conduct a multi-municipal study to link recreational, institutional, cultural, and commercial destinations in the Battle Path area.
- Transportation Management Association of Chester County will receive $128,000 to plan improvements to infrastructure and multi-modal access along the Route 29 corridor in the Great Valley area.
Borough of Coalport will receive $475,000 to improve the streetscape along Main Street in coordination with scheduled roadway improvements.
- Borough of Carlisle will receive $539,643 to construct on-road bicycle lanes and off-road trails within the borough and three surrounding municipalities.
- Borough of Lemoyne will receive $1,500,000 to implement the second phase of an enhancement project derived from a community based visioning approach.
- Lower Allen Township will receive $185,000 to create a bicycle and pedestrian linkage between residential, educational and recreational facilities currently separated by Interstate 83.
- Borough of North East will receive $300,000 to develop a Smart Transportation and Land Use Strategic Plan.
- Erie County General Authority will receive $300,000 to plan for the multi-modal transport of freight containers in conjunction with the Erie Inland Port initiative.
Borough of Indiana will receive $1,500,000 for transportation enhancements to create better linkages between the borough’s commercial corridor, Main Street, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority will receive $459,009 to remedy safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclist using the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail in Archbald.
Warwick Township will receive $393,254 to extend Highland Drive to enhance connectivity of the existing street network and reduce congestion on Route 501.
Lower Macungie and Upper Macungie Townships will receive $125,000 to identify a complete street strategy for the Hamilton Boulevard corridor emphasizing land use changes, public transit, and intermodal amenities.
- Kingston Township will receive $300,000 to complete a 2-mile multi-use trail between the Borough of Luzerne and the village of Trucksville adjacent to Route 309.
- Borough of West Wyoming will receive $295,400 to improve walkability along the West Side Trail.
County of Lycoming will receive $982,000 to implement its Pathways to Health initiative to improve access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and emergency vehicles in coordination with the expansion of Susquehanna Health.
Shenango Valley Area Transportation Study MPO will receive $280,000 to study opportunities to improve congestion and safety along the State Street/Irvine Avenue Corridor in the Cities of Hermitage and Sharon.
County of Mifflin will receive $1,473,400 to continue revitalization efforts in downtown Lewistown in conjunction with planned future development of senior housing in the area.
Borough of Stroudsburg will receive $407,119 to construct curb extension, relocate light poles, and install decorative crosswalks in coordination with a Congested Corridor Improvement Program initiative on Main Street.
- City Avenue Special Services District will receive $301,145 to improve walkability and safety on Bala Avenue between the Bala and Cynwyd rail-served transit stations in Lower Merion Township.
- Hatfield Township and the Borough of Hatfield will receive $27,000 to develop a plan to improve land use controls, identify sidewalk gaps, and identify traffic calming opportunities along the North Broad Street Business District.
City of Sunbury will receive $1,050,000 to create a more livable, accessible, and safer community for residents and businesses along Wolverton Street.
- City of Philadelphia will receive $1,300,000 to facilitate the reuse the Manayunk Railroad Bridge to connect the Schuylkill River and Cynwyd Trails.
- City of Philadelphia will receive $1,100,000 to improve connectivity between the Old City neighborhood and waterfront activities, parks, and trails along Race Street.
Borough of Mahanoy City will receive $1,020,000 to continue activities to improve accessibility while adding pedestrian safety and aesthetics to the downtown business district.
County of Somerset will receive $617,500 to construct a 20-car park and ride lot adjacent to the Route 30 and Route 219 interchange in Jenner Township.
County of Venango will receive $250,000 to explore transportation enhancement improvements and multi-modal opportunities to manage congestion along Route 8 in the Borough of Sugar Creek and the City of Franklin.
Borough of Youngsville will receive $1,000,000 to implement the Youngsville Revitalization and Economic Redevelopment Enhancement Plan.
County of Washington will receive $443,500 to construct 9 miles of recreational trail completing the Panhandle Trail between the Borough of Carnegie in Allegheny County to the City of Weirton, WV.
County of York will receive $175,000 to study the impacts of different growth-management scenarios relating to transportation, livability, sustainability, climate change, environment, health, and quality of life.