FILE - NJ tractor trailer, freight truck 3-9-2018

Tractor trailers are loaded with freight at a warehouse March 9, 2018, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has awarded $30.1 million in grants for 33 projects to help counties and municipalities across New Jersey facilitate large trucks’ safe movement.

The Local Freight Impact Fund (LFIF) program was created in October 2016 as part of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) reauthorization.

In addition to the $30.1 million in state grants, project sponsors will fund an additional $21.4 million for a total of $51.5 million. The 33 projects include a pair of truck safety and mobility projects, two bridge preservation projects and 29 pavement preservation projects.

“Having safe truck routes to efficiently move goods to and from New Jersey’s seaports, airports, warehouses, and rail yards is integral to our state and regional economy,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a news release. “Our roads and bridges carry a tremendous amount of commercial truck traffic every day and we are making the investments necessary to ensure the safety of our customers and communities alike.”

Under the program, projects in four categories – bridge preservation, new construction, pavement preservation and truck safety and mobility – are eligible. State officials evaluated projects based on various criteria, such as connectivity to freight nodes, existing conditions, traffic volume, percentage of “large truck” traffic and frequency of crashes.

The state received 41 applications requesting more than $45 million for the 2021 fiscal year program. The state awarded grants to 29 municipalities and a pair of counties; Cumberland and Middlesex counties each received two grants.

The NJDOT’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development administers the grants. According to a news release, the program helps municipalities pay for projects that ostensibly promote the safe movement of truck traffic, renew aging structures, promote economic development, and support new transportation opportunities without raising property taxes.

NJDOT previously announced $29 million in grants for 10 rail projects across the Garden State.