DOT grant supports improvements to three streets in Hightstown

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Three streets in Hightstown Borough are in line for new asphalt, new curbs and new sidewalks, thanks to a $500,000 state grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT).

The state agency approved Hightstown officials’ grant application for improvements to Hausser Avenue, Bennett Place and Prospect Drive, Hightstown Borough Mayor Lawrence Quattrone said.

Hausser Avenue and Bennett Place are off Morrison Avenue, and Prospect Drive is off Summit Street.

The project calls for removing the top layer of asphalt and putting down a new coat of asphalt. Deteriorated curbs and sidewalks will be replaced and new sidewalks will be installed where none exist.

Curb ramps will be reconstructed to meet current standards under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Replacing the existing sidewalks and adding new ones will help Hightstown Borough to meet its goal to become a completely walkable community, Quattrone said.

The existing storm drain inlets will be upgraded to meet DOT’s bicycle safety standards and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s stormwater regulations

“The Borough Council was very thoughtful in their decision as to what projects to include in the application. Hausser Avenue, Bennett Place and Prospect Drive were determined to be a top priority,” Quattrone said.

Hightstown officials are pleased that the town was chosen from among 549 municipalities that submitted 635 applications, totaling $342 million in requests for funding from DOT’s Municipal Aid program.

Of those 549 municipalities, grant requests were approved for 543 towns – including Hightstown. The Municipal Aid program sets aside $161.2 million annually for grants, which is an increase over the $78.7 million the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund was renewed in 2016.

Since the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund was renewed in 2016, the increased amount of money available for grants has enabled the DOT to award grants from about 370 per year to the 543 towns that received Municipal Aid grants this year.