The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is pleased to announce the award of a $900,000 federal grant under the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside) Program. The federal grant awarded to Millville will fund the Millyard Riverfront Walk with the intention of improving and expanding pedestrian and bicycle trails in Cumberland County.
The TA Set-Aside Program is a competitive program funded through the Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Aid Program and is administered by NJDOT in partnership with New Jersey’s three Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) – SJTPO, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). The TA Set-Aside Program provides funds for community-based “non- traditional” projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the intermodal transportation system such as the constructing of pedestrian and bicycle facilities, the creation of safe routes to school, and the preserving of historic transportation structures.
County, municipal governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies, tribal governments, any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation (other than an MPO or State agency), and non-profit organizations that are responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs are eligible to apply to the TA Set-Aside Program.
The Millyard Riverfront Walk serves as a half-mile extension of the Maurice River Walk and Bikeway Trail. The Millyard Riverfront Walk offers off-road connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation via historic pathways, bridges, and previous rail lines alongside the Maurice River and Union Lake spillway.
Applications for TA Set-Aside Program funds were received from July 31, 2020 to November 24, 2020. In the SJTPO region – compromised of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem Counties – 13 applications were submitted, totaling approximately $11.1 million in requested grant funding. The total available grant funds were $900,000.
In this year’s grant solicitation, there was an equity component. Additional assistance with the grant application process, along with additional points during the scoring process, were provided to projects in eligible communities. The communities qualifying for additional assistance and points were determined by U.S. Census data that identified low-income residents, racial and ethnic minorities, those with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities, children, and older adults.
The individual municipalities in the SJTPO region are responsible for their TA Side-Aside projects. The SJTPO is the MPO covering Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem Counties in southern New Jersey. The SJTPO serves as a technical resource, provides access to federal funding, and works to provide a regional approach to address transportation planning and engineering issues.