Department of Transportation’s (DOT) material cost escalation program

Governor Murphy signed a bill developed by the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA) on March 13, 2023, that changes the dates for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) material cost escalation program. This bill expands the eligibility period for contracts that qualify for reimbursement for cost increases. Previously, only contracts bid before April 1, 2020, were eligible, but the new law makes contracts bid before December 1, 2021, eligible. The program will be re-opened for another 90 days and an additional 30 days if funds from the $10 million appropriation are still available.

It’s important to note that the DOT will have to restart the application process, meaning that the program won’t open immediately. Additionally, the reimbursement is only available to certified Small Business Enterprises (SBE’s) and applies only to DOT contracts. More information about the program and the application for the original program can be found on the DOT’s website.

To qualify for the grant, SBE applicants must be registered with the State of New Jersey as an SBE and registered in NJSTART. All companies, individuals, and organizations must obtain a Unique Entity ID (UEI) through to receive grant funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. DUNS numbers are no longer necessary or acceptable as a UEI.

The application process includes completing a Grant Application and Agreement for Use by a Small Business Enterprise for a Grant Pursuant to the State of New Jersey. The NJDOT will award grants to qualified SBE contractors, subcontractors, including material suppliers who submit complete applications first. If an SBE Applicant fails to submit sufficient information to substantiate eligibility and the amount of grant funds requested, the SBE Applicant will lose its place in the order applications are reviewed and awarded, and any supplemental submission to the NJDOT will be considered a new application. Partial awards may be made if, and to the extent that, an SBE Applicant can only substantiate a portion of the grant funds requested.

The accompanying certification and grant agreement must be executed by a Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), or Managing Member of the SBE Applicant, as applicable, designated by the SBE Applicant as possessing legal authority to make this application and to enter into the grant agreement on behalf of the SBE Applicant and submitted at the same time as this application.