PATERSON, NJ - Paterson and Passaic County can expect to have more clout within the organization responsible for allocating $17.5 million for the construction of a new Fifth Avenue Bridge connecting Paterson to Fair Lawn, providing design support for a new bridge to connect Paterson’s Bunker Hill industrial area to Prospect Park and Hawthorne, and undertaking an award-winning transit study to improve access to and through the Great Falls district of Paterson.

On January 13 Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett was elected First Vice-Chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the federally funded and authorized authority that establishes the region’s eligibility to receive tax dollars from Washington, D.C. for transportation projects.

“I want to thank my fellow Board members for again entrusting me with a leadership position,” Bartlett, who first joined the Executive Committee when he was elected Second Vice-Chair in 2018, said. “This Board oversees vital transportation investments that, at their best, grow our region’s economy and improve the quality of life for all residents.” 

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Since joining the body the NJTPA, at Bartlett’s urging, has also allocated $3.4 million in federal funds to design the “missing moves” project, linking Route 23 and Route 80 in Wayne this year, with construction anticipated soon afterwards. This project will provide greater mobility, reduce congestion and enhance safety by simplifying movement through the interchange. Altogether, more than $348 million in federal transportation dollars have been dedicated to Passaic County projects since 2013. 

“Because of the large size and long time horizon of infrastructure improvements, federal funding is essential,” Bartlett explained. “With support from our partners in Washington like Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, the resources and technical support that flow to Passaic County through NJTPA help us do more for residents and local business owners without increasing the property tax burden.” 

In addition to serving a two-year term as Second Vice-Chair from 2018-2020, Bartlett was also Chair of the NJTPA’s Planning and Economic Development Committee and served as a member of the Project Prioritization Committee. He is a past Vice Chair of the NJTPA’s Freight Initiatives Committee. 

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