TAKES ACTION ON "FIX IT FIRST"
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'
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
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
Moss Mill Road (CR 561 Alt.) and Duerer Street (CR
561) in Egg Harbor City
Moss Mill Road (CR 561 Alt.) in Galloway Township
Palymyra Cove Nature Park in Palymyra Borough
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
Bay Point Road in Lawrence Township
Cooks Corners in Stow Creek Township
Glen Avenue Bridge over the West Branch of the Rahway
River in Millburn Township
County Route 614, Bridge A-4 in Alexandria Township
County Bridge U-47 & U-48, Walns Mill Road over
Crosswicks Creek in Upper Freehold Township
Webster Mill Bridge in Pilesgrove Township
Liberty Avenue Bridge over the Elizabeth River in