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Contact: Peter Boger
(609) 633-1496

Expedites Review of Much Needed Improvements to County Bridges

(03/17) Sayreville— New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell and Department of Transportation (DOT) Acting Commissioner Jack Lettiere today announced a new inter-departmental initiative under Governor James E. McGreevey's "Fix It First" policy that will eliminate regulatory impediments preventing much needed transportation improvements.

"For too long, these vital improvement projects have languished in bureaucratic red tape, with commuters and counties suffering as a result," said DEP Commissioner Campbell. "DEP takes the Governor's charge to "fix it first" seriously and has reorganized our structure as a result to streamline permit reviews and to coordinate with DOT on every stage of project review."

"Fix It First" and the new initiative follow one of the guiding principles of Governor McGreevey 's anti-sprawl plan - to stop subsidizing sprawl - by prioritizing funding and permit reviews to focus on existing infrastructure. Departmental action on infrastructure will also be prioritized for areas identified as appropriate for growth - "green light" areas - on DEP's new regulatory map, when the map is adopted. It will be proposed later this spring.

By expediting the review of the various permits needed for county bridge projects funded by the Local Bridge Bond Act of 1999, DEP and DOT's initiative will enable previously authorized funds for projects worth $23 million to now move forward.

"This agreement demonstrates that the DOT and DEP have heard Governor McGreevey's call to cut through red tape and get critical transportation projects moving," said Lettiere. "This is another step toward realizing the promise of the Governor's 'Smart Growth' initiative."

As part of the new initiative, DEP has created a dedicated Transportation Unit in its Land Use Management program working solely on shepherding DOT projects through the review process. DEP's Historic Preservation Office also has a Transportation Unit that is focused on identifying historic preservation issues in the early stages of transportation improvement projects. These units will help coordinate communication with permittees in pre-application meetings and expedite the permit process. At the same time, having dedicated transportation units better ensures that projects adhere to strict regulatory protections for the environment.

At the event, also attended by Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, the commissioners highlighted two recent accomplishments in advancing DEP review of bridge projects identified by DOT.

A project to widen the Bordentown Avenue bridge at the intersection of Ernston Road in Sayreville Borough had been delayed for months while historic preservation questions were considered. DEP and DOT recently agreed on a resolution to this issue, allowing plans to replace the existing structure to move forward.

"The Bordentown and Ernston Road project, which will solve a long-standing problem for the people of Sayreville and the surrounding area, is a prime example of how the concept of 'Fix it First' and intergovernmental cooperation can work," said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, who chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee. "It is my hope that this project will serve as a model for how, by working together, government can tackle the multitude of transportation projects we face around the state. "

In Brick Township, DEP recently completed permit approvals that will allow improvements to begin on the Mantoloking Road drawbridge over Barnegat Bay. The drawbridge will be replaced with a separate, higher structure adjacent to the existing structure that will not have to be opened as frequently to accommodate boat traffic.

DOT has identified 14 other county bridge projects for which DEP will expedite its regulatory reviews. These projects are listed on the attachment.

Bridge Projects Identified for DEP Expedited Review

Atlantic County:  

Moss Mill Road (CR 561 Alt.) and Duerer Street (CR 561) in Egg Harbor City
Moss Mill Road (CR 561 Alt.) in Galloway Township


Burlington County:  

Palymyra Cove Nature Park in Palymyra Borough


Camden County:  

State Street in the City of Camden
East Atlantic Avenue in Audubon and Oaklyn Boroughs


Cape May County:  

Marshallville Road (CR 632) in Upper Township


Cumberland County:  

Bay Point Road in Lawrence Township
Cooks Corners in Stow Creek Township


Essex County:  

Glen Avenue Bridge over the West Branch of the Rahway River in Millburn Township


Hunterdon County:  

County Route 614, Bridge A-4 in Alexandria Township


Monmouth County:  

County Bridge U-47 & U-48, Walns Mill Road over Crosswicks Creek in Upper Freehold Township


Salem County:  

Webster Mill Bridge in Pilesgrove Township


Union County:  

Liberty Avenue Bridge over the Elizabeth River in Hillside Township




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Last Updated: July 14, 2010