Bill Would Allow Highway Rest Stops To Be Privately Sponsored

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TRENTON – The Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would provide an opportunity for sponsorship of certain public rest stops along state highways and alleviate the burden on taxpayers for the maintenance of these rest areas.

“This legislation authorizes a simple move that would potentially offer a great benefit to taxpayers,” said Assemblywoman Celeste M. Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem), a sponsor of the bill. “Covering the cost for upkeep of state highway rest areas may be minimal in ways but it is money that can add up over time. In this economy, every little bit we save would make a big difference in the long run.”

The bill (A-3461) would allow the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority to enter into sponsorship agreements with private entities to exchange monetary compensation, accept products or services, or both from the private entity to be used for the maintenance and upkeep of the rest area. The bill also provides for acknowledgement signs to be placed on the highway in advance of the exit for a rest area and within rest area buildings.

The DOT, NJTA and SJTA would be required under the bill’s provisions to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the program including, but not necessarily limited to: qualifications for private entities to participate in rest area sponsorship program; application requirements; terms for sponsorship agreements; and specifications for acceptable acknowledgement signs and acknowledgement sign placement.

The measure was released from the Assembly Transportation Committee and now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.


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