Camden County’s upcoming Westfield Avenue (CR610) milling and overlay road reconstruction project will be the first infrastructure investment in the state to take advantage of financing made available by the New Jersey Transportation Infrastructure Bank (NJTIB). The NJTIB was formed via a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank and is designed to reduce the cost of financing on local transportation infrastructure projects throughout the state.
“This is one of the most important investments that we can make in our community, and Camden County is dedicated to ensuring that the infrastructure our residents rely on is kept in the best condition possible,” said Freeholder Susan Shin Angulo, liaison to the Camden County Department of Public Works. “The financing now being offered by the NJTIB is going to make this process faster, effective and more cost efficient.”
Construction for the Westfield Avenue project is anticipated to cost approximately $2.1 million. The loan provided by the NJTIB has been awarded for up to $2.5 million and can be used to cover project design in addition to the cost of construction. Crews are expected to mill and overlay the stretch of Westfield Avenue from Tinsman Avenue to Route 130 in Pennsauken.
Loans offered by the NJTIB are intended to aid local governments by offering significantly reduced interest rates versus market competitors, and by minimizing the principle that is used to calculate that interest. This uniquely structured financing system does not officially determine the principle amount of the loan until the conclusion of a project. This allows counties and municipalities to accept large loans without owing interest on unused funds if the final cost of the project is lower than anticipated.
“The unique financing structure of the loan, coupled with immediate reimbursement for related costs, means that the county can start this project and move forward at a much faster pace than usual,” Shin Angulo said. “The Freeholder Board is looking forward to continuing to work with the NJTIB in the future and to making additional improvements and enhancements to roads and other transportation infrastructure throughout the county.”
The NJTIB was first opened in June 2018 and Camden County’s application for the Westfield Avenue project is the first in the state to be accepted for low interest financing. The Bank was initially started with $22.6 million in funds transferred from NJDOT’s Local Aid Infrastructure Fund. That sum had previously been generated from a recent gas tax increase.
Transportation Bank loans are available to counties, municipalities, and other local governmental units for capital projects related to public highways, ramps, signal systems, pedestrian walkways, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure.
Modeled after the successful NJ Water Bank (formerly, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program) and the NJDOT’s Local Aid Program, the Transportation Bank was established as part of the Transportation Trust Fund renewal to provide low interest loans for local transportation projects. To get started, NJDOT’s Local Aid Infrastructure Fund is providing the NJTIB with $22.6 million generated from the gas tax increase. Interest rates in fiscal year 2019 are anticipated to be between 1.5% and 1.75% for terms of up to 31 years.
Loan applications are available at www.njib.gov.