About NJDOT Grant
The NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is soliciting applications through the FY23 Transportation Alternatives Set-Asides Program (TA Set-Aside). Funding through this program is for “non-traditional” surface transportation projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the nation’s intermodal system. Eligible projects under this program will fall into the following categories.
- Design and construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities for use by pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized transportation users.
- Environmental mitigation to address storm water management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
- Restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats in order to help reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
- Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities, such as building structures and canals.
- Community improvement projects including streetscapes and corridor landscaping.
- Construction of scenic turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
The FY23 funding cycle presents a unique opportunity for prospective applicants. During previous funding cycles, $9.9 million in funding was made available annually for pursuit. Thanks to the recent passage of the US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act however, an additional $15.3 million in funding has been allocated, bringing the total funding available through the FY23 funding cycle to $25.2 million.
Given the increase in funding made available, there will no doubt be an increase in the level of competition for these funds. Applicants interested in applying will need to ensure that their projects align with the criteria established for this program. In addition, since the funding being provided is from federal sources, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are able to comply with regulations set for federal aid projects. It is for this reason that applicants should be aware of the following key points related to applying for funding.
All applicants are required to participate in a pre-application meeting with the NJDOT. The purpose of the meeting is to review the project being proposed by the applicant and determine whether or not it meets the criteria to qualify for funding. Prior to the meeting, applicants must prepare and submit a project description, location map, and cost estimate to help guide this review process.
Designated Responsible Charge
All applicants must designate an employee to serve as the responsible charge for their project. If an organization receives funding the responsible charge will be responsible for overseeing and reporting on all facets of the project. Some of their duties and responsibilities will include reviewing/submitting scope changes, visiting the project site, reviewing financial transactions, and directing project staff. This employee is not required to be an engineer; however, they must be a full-time employee of the applicant organization.
All applicants must demonstrate that their project will be able to proceed to construction within in two years of the date of the award. As a part of this review, applicants should reflect on the following questions:
- Does this project have support from your organizations governing body?
- Is your organization committed to financing this project regardless of the size of the grant award you may receive?
- Does your project schedule reflect all necessary milestones?
- Can your project progress in time to receive federal authorization to proceed to construction within two years from the date of your award?
While these three key points of information are critical, they represent only a few of the many requirements applicants will need to meet in order to compete for this funding. Millennium Strategies has considerable experience helping local governments navigate the complex Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside application process. Our firm helped to secure more the $6.8 million in grant awards through this grant program, on behalf of our clients, during the previous funding cycle.
The deadline for completing the mandatory pre-application meeting with NJDOT is September 30, 2022 with the application deadline of November 3, 2022, following up shortly thereafter. If your organization is interested in applying for funding and needs assistance with doing so, contact us today to speak with our experts about how we may be able to assist you.
Director of Business Development