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June 22, 2011

Re : Advisory Message from New Jersey Department of Transportation on ADA Compliance

Dear Mayor:

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has asked me to disseminate this advisory regarding ADA compliance in connection with certain projects receiving State and Federal Funding.  Any questions as they relate to your local circumstances should be directed to your New Jersey DOT Local Aid District office. 

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

NJDOT and FHWA aggressively pursue ADA compliance

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) would like to remind county and municipal officials that they are responsible for ensuring that Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements are met in connection with any project receiving state or federal funding.

The Department periodically hosts workshops for local and county officials to promote a full understanding of their responsibilities in this area.

NJDOT awards hundreds of state-funded grants to local governments and administers many additional federal grants through Local Aid and other programs each year.   Grant recipients are obligated to identify any improvements that are needed to comply with the ADA, and are obligated to ensure that the improvements are made.

For example, if a project for a road resurfacing project is awarded, the county or municipal recipient must determine if the scope of the work triggers the need for any ADA improvements, such as accessible ramps at intersections.  The recipient must make sure that the improvements are built and that they conform to ADA design specifications.
Costs associated with ADA improvements or upgrades are eligible under federal and state grant programs.

It would be safe to assume that hundreds of local transportation projects that have received state or federal grants are under way right now across New Jersey.  NJDOT encourages all grant recipients to double-check their projects for full compliance with ADA requirements, and take steps to comply if necessary.  Non-compliance could jeopardize grant reimbursements in whole or in part.

Counties and municipalities might also wish to determine if they have adopted an ADA transitional plan that helps document their efforts to gradually come into compliance with the ADA, which was enacted in 1991.

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