Construction is set to begin on a connector road between Rising Sun Road and Dunns Mill Road in mid-2019. (Google Maps file photo.)

Bordentown Township will receive $2.1 million from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to construct a connector road between Rising Sun Road and Dunns Mill Road.

The grant is part of the new Local Freight Impact Fund program, totaling $30.1 million to help municipalities provide for the safe movement of large truck traffic. Preliminary design and engineering are underway. Work is estimated to begin mid-2019.

“New Jersey roads and bridges carry some of the heaviest amount of commercial truck traffic in the country every day,” said NJDOT commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti in a state news release. “The Local Freight Impact Fund is an example of your gas tax dollars at work. The new program provides state funds to municipalities to make critical improvements to truck routes to keep our infrastructure in a state of good repair and keep our regional economy moving in the right direction.”

The proposed project, said a township news release, will construct a new connector road between Dunns Mill Road and Rising Sun Road, intended to accomodate trucks and other vehicles. It will also give heavy-duty vehicles direct access to the New Jersey Turnpike, as well as the truck stops on Rising Sun Road.

“Most importantly,” said Mayor Stephen Benowitz in the release, “the residents of Dunns Mill Road and Bordentown Hedding Road will no longer have to deal with unnecessary and bothersome large trucks traversing through their neighborhoods.”

The connector road is also designed to eliminate the need for truck traffic to travel toward the Route 130-Farnsworth Avenue intersection.

“The most beneficial part of this new connector road will bet he increased safety of the Farnsworth Avenue/Route 130 intersection,” Benowitz said. “By redirecting truck traffic through the new connector road, that intersection can be redeisgned for better pedestrian access.”

LFIF is a competitive program, which was created as part of Transportation Trust Fund reauthorization in October 2016. The program helps New Jersey’s municipalities fund projects that emphasize and enhance the safe movement of large truck traffic, renew aging structures that carry large truck traffic, promote economic development, and support new transportation opportunities.

Under the program, projects that fall into four categories are eligible for funding: bridge preservation, new construction, pavement preservation and truck safety and mobility. The grants are administered by the NJDOT Division of Local Aid and Economic Development. NJDOT staff evaluate projects using a variety of criteria including: existing conditions, overall traffic volume, percentage of large truck traffic, crash frequency, connectivity to freight nodes, among others.

Bordentown is the only muncipality in the county to receive a LFIF grant, according to a township news release, and one of 21 agencies statewide. The township submitted a grant application to the state, which included a 2014 study by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Coalition. Township professionals also sent in internal studies and independent traffic counts.