Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. announced Wednesday that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) has awarded the county $14.8 million in federal grants to make safety improvements at 31 intersections in Newark, Orange, East Orange, Belleville, Irvington, Bloomfield, Maplewood and Montclair.

“We want everyone to feel safe on our roads whether they’re walking, driving, visiting our local businesses or using public transit,” said DiVincenzo, who was recently appointed as the Secretary of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. “These grants will help us improve safety at some of our most heavily trafficked intersections for pedestrians,” he added.

The improvements will be completed as part of two separate projects and will include traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals, high visibility crosswalks, and left-turn lanes to be installed throughout Newark and neighboring municipalities.

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The projects are among 14 throughout the region that the NJTPA Board of Trustees approved at its Jan. 22 meeting and are part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program.

The NJTPA Board approved $50.8 million in a Local Safety Program and High Risk Rural Roads grants for projects for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. 

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties and establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.

The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren) and the cities of Newark and Jersey City.

The Board also includes a governor’s representative, the New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner, the NJ TRANSIT executive director, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a citizen’s representative appointed by the governor.

TAPinto Bloomfield is the only locally owned news organization in the township. TAPinto Bloomfield is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association.

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