COUGHLIN, WISNIEWSKI, MCKEON, POU, & RODRIGUEZ BILL TO PERMIT NJDOT TO CONTRACT WITH COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY REASONS NOW LAW

Legislation Assembly Democrats Craig J. Coughlin, John S. Wisniewski, John F. McKeon, Nellie Pou, and Caridad Rodriguez sponsored to help New Jersey’s counties and municipalities immediately mitigate public safety hazards along state highways has been signed into law.

“Last spring New Jerseyans saw grass along our highways grow to dangerous heights that blocked the view of motorists from safely entering and exiting state highways. With a massive state highway system under its belt, our state Department of Transportation road crews simply could not respond fast enough. This law will empower local officials to mitigate traffic hazards almost immediately,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex).

“Our local officials typically know first where public safety hazards arise. This law establishes a new mechanism for local officials to avert public safety matters and be compensated for work performed,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee.

“As a former mayor, I have a good understanding of the responsiveness that our constituencies expect from our local and county governments. This law will hopefully go a long way in helping local officials address public safety issues that otherwise would be out of their purview,” stated McKeon (D-Essex).

“Local elected officials know their infrastructure best and we should always strive to give them the tools to maintain what is under their jurisdiction,” argued Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic).

“Our motorists need to be assured that their roads and other traffic infrastructure are safe for them and their families. This legislation ensures safety is among our top priorities,” remarked Rodriguez (D-Hudson).

Under A-3094, the Commissioner of Transportation is permitted to enter into a contract or agreement with a county or municipality for snow removal, grass mowing, tree pruning, landscaping, repair, or routine maintenance of State highways and adjacent shoulders, berms, right of ways, and other areas without advertisement for bids, if the scope of the work required does not contemplate the award of a contract by the county or municipality to an outside contractor, or if the commissioner determines the work to be performed is immediately necessary for the prevention of a public hazard.

Currently, the commissioner may only contract with a county or municipality for road maintenance, when the scope of the work required does not contemplate the award of a contract by the county or municipality to an outside contractor.

The bill also requires the commissioner to establish reasonable rates for work performed by a county or municipality.