Proposed FY2003 Capital
Program submitted to Legislature
Balanced, affordable plan reflects commitment
to “fix it first,” Smart Growth and investment in transit.
Transportation Commissioner James P. Fox today submitted to the State Legislature a $2.5 billion proposed Transportation Capital Program for State Fiscal Year 2003 that strikes a progressive balance across all modes of transportation and all regions of the state.
AThis is a well-reasoned, affordable Capital Program that meets the Governor’s goals of improving New Jersey’s quality of life, implementing the principles of smart growth and ‘fix it first,’ and investing in New Jersey Transit,” said Commissioner Fox. “It translates into necessary state and federal funding for highways, bridges, rail and bus improvements, local transportation needs, airports, congestion relief, and bicycle and pedestrian projects.
“It is both an environmentally-friendly and economically-responsible spending plan that will help shape New Jersey’s transportation future,” Fox said.
The FY 2003 proposed program is financed with $2.5 billion in state and federal funds. State funding includes $950 million in Transportation Trust Fund monies, plus $89 million in additional funding made available by the refinancing of the original Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit System Grant Anticipation Notes.
Federal funding included $862 million from the Federal Highway Administration, $423 million from the Federal Transit Administration, and $22 million from the Federal Aviation Administration. Additional funding will be made available by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to support NJ TRANSIT’s capital investments, including the purchase $130 million for the purchase of bi-level rail cars.
For the first time ever, this Program uses Smart Growth as an actual criteria for evaluating which projects to fund. Key projects will support urban redevelopment efforts in Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick, and Trenton. At the same time, suburban and rural drivers will benefit from the Program’s commitment to preserving and improving existing pavement, providing congestion relief, and preserving scenic properties and byways including the Route 29 scenic byway and corridor preservation along Route 57.
Fix It First
Major capacity increase projects are capped at 10 percent of the proposed capital program. System preservation is the highest priority. State resurfacing funds for regional contracts will be increased from $44 million in FY 02 to $50 million in FY 03. $3 million a year has been programmed for a new Interstate Pavement Preservation Program to extend the life of our Interstate system. In sum, $161 million (12 percent of the program) will be invested in roadway preservation works of all kinds.
Nearly $290 million (21 percent of the program) will be invested in bridge replacement and rehabilitation. Approximately 165 structurally deficient bridges are programmed for work in fiscal years 2003-2007. Another 135 are in the study and development stage of planning. In fact, every bridge project ready to be funded is funded. With the exception of last year’s bridge bond referendum, this program is the largest bridge program in state history.
This Program maintains the commitment of the Department and New Jersey Transit to improve the commute of all state residents. It continues the state’s investment in upgrading and maintaining the reliability of its core rail and light rail systems. A new fleet of state-of-the-art cruiser buses also will be delivered, and passenger facilities such as Penn Station New York’s East End Concourse will be dramatically improved. Significantly, the Program addresses the critical issue of New Jersey Transit’s capacity by taking two substantial steps toward the implementation of bi-level rail cars. First, the Program funds the purchase of new locomotives that will be necessary to pull bilevel cars. The Program also works in conjunction with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide a significant $130 million down payment toward the delivery of bi-level cars.
The proposed program provides approximately $260 million in state funding for local road and bridge improvements, and bicycle and pedestrian projects.