CAMDEN, NJ – U.S Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, Mayor Frank Moran, Congressman Donald Norcross, local elected officials, U.S. Department of Transportation, N.J. Economic Development Authority and project partners, Coopers Ferry Partnership, celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony to kick-off construction for “Camden Connections to the Future Projects”. The scope of the project will focus on carrying out critical improvements to the City of Camden's aging infrastructure and dilapidated roadways.
“Today’s groundbreaking is an exciting occasion for a city that continues to rise,” Sen. Booker said. “The City of Camden serves as a gateway to the State of New Jersey and the improvements that will be made using the TIGER grant are critical to providing a safe and reliable transportation infrastructure to the residents of Camden, and the region. I will continue to fight for federal investments that allow New Jersey to make critical investments in our aging infrastructure while increasing our state’s economic competitiveness.”
“The projects will result in an elevated quality of life for Camden residents and safer conditions for users of all forms of transportation,” said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. “This grant will immediately help us address infrastructure challenges and will help support the long term economic investment taking place throughout our City. I am grateful to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and Congressman Norcross for their advocacy for this critical funding. Camden remains committed to working in partnership with all levels of government to leverage resources in order to lay a foundation for a first-class city.”
In 2016, Municipal, County and State officials joined Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker, and Rep. Norcross, along with other officials, to announce a $16.2 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to complete both the Cooper’s Poynt Road Resurfacing Project and Cooper Street Pedestrian Access Project. The improvements leverage nearly $3 billion in economic development taking place throughout the City and build upon a holistic strategy to enhance the quality of life for Camden residents.
“I was proud to fight for this project in Washington and am so glad to be here with Mayor Moran and others as the hard work of building Camden Connections to the Future gets underway,” said Sen. Menendez. “We’re talking about designing streetscapes that are walkable, ridable, and drivable for all. That’s what Connections to the Future is all about, and as we enhance safety for Camden’s residents, we take pride in knowing this project will also contribute to the city’s continued economic renaissance. Safety is good for business. It spurs greater investment and allows local businesses to attract more customers. And I’m confident Connections to the Future will contribute to all of the efforts underway to make Camden an attractive place to live, work, and visit.”
“Camden’s ongoing revitalization requires a reliable infrastructure network to serve as the foundation for the city today and beyond,” said Rep. Norcross. “The federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will increase pedestrian safety while reducing traffic congestion. The Camden Connections to the Future Project, does just that -- it is accelerating our infrastructure into the 21st century. I’m proud to have supported this federal grant, and as the project unfolds we can look forward to the benefits and opportunities it will bring for the city’s residents, employers, and education providers.”
The federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will be applied to a targeted network of streets covering approximately two miles. The improvements will focus on increasing pedestrian and vehicular safety, improving traffic flow by reducing congestion in addition to streetscape beautification. The construction is taking place along Cooper Street and various roadways in the Downtown and North Camden areas of the City.
“This project is the direct result of residents coming together to develop a vision for the future of their neighborhoods,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “From the North Camden Neighborhood Plan, over ten years ago, to the Cooper Grant/Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan in 2015, residents envisioned walkable, vibrant communities. You are now seeing the results of their vision and strong partnerships, with new parks, schools and now infrastructure that will dramatically increase the quality of life for Camden residents, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. The eligibility requirements of BUILD allow project sponsors at the State and local levels to obtain funding for multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects that are more difficult to support through traditional DOT programs. Previously known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grants, Congress has dedicated grants for ten rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact. Since 2009, the Program has provided a combined $7.1 billion to 554 projects in all 50 states.