July 28, 2016
The city of Camden has been awarded a $16.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund major improvements to roads and other infrastructure, officials announced on Thursday.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant is designed to upgrade aging infrastructure, spur economic development and enhance residents' quality of life as part of the newly launched Camden Connections for the Future Project.
Last year, after President Obama designated Camden a federal promise zone, the city received $1 billion in federal investment for new waterfront development. The new grant will tackle issues affecting local travel in the city's neighborhoods and downtown.
“There is nothing more important to our nation’s economic future than investing in our crumbling transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who led the grant application process along with Sen. Cory Booker and Congressman Donald Norcross. “ I’m so pleased to have successfully fought for these funds that will further Camden’s renaissance and build upon its recent steps towards making the city a premiere location for people to live, work and visit.”
In total, the Camden Connections for the Future Project will reconstruct a roughly 2-mile network of streets north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge with complete and green streets concepts informing the design.
"Camden is on the rise, and the U.S. Department of Transportation shares my strong commitment to making strategic investments in the City's rebirth," said Rep. Norcross. "As world class businesses, health care, and education institutions continue to lay down roots in the city, these federal resources will help upgrade and modernize the city's vital transportation network."
The TIGER grant program will proceed in three phases as follows:
Phase 1: Improve the 7th St. gateway connecting the bridge and North Camden with downtown Camden.
Phase 2: Road improvements to Cooper Poynt will upgrade vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure
Phase 3: Improve traffic flow along Cooper St., the main artery running through downtown Camden.
"In order to maintain New Jersey's economic competitiveness, it's vital we take the necessary steps to modernize our transportation arteries," said Sen. Booker. "As we continue to witness growth in cities like Camden, key federal investments like this in New Jersey's crumbling infrastructure serve as a gateway to job creation and keeping our region's economy moving full steam ahead."