The Regional Center


regional center partnership



Major Projects

The Regional Center Partnership has been very successful in securing funding to move forward on important regional initiatives. To date, close to $500,000 in planning money and $59,400,000 in construction funds have been allocated. The Regional Center Partnership annual Challenge Grant program has awarded $1,014,500 to help each community advance local projects that resolve regional problems.

The following projects have been funded all or in part by the Regional Center Partnership.

Charting an Action Agenda 
In July of 2005, the Regional Center Partnership was at a key juncture in its history. Since the designation of the Regional Center in 1996 as New Jersey’s first tri-municipal center, the communities of Raritan, Somerville and Bridgewater had been working diligently to enhance the quality of life for residents and employees. It was critical at that point to revisit the past through an organized evaluation in order to determine the path for the future.

Municipal Planning Assistance
The Regional Center Partnership provides a forum through which interaction, sharing ideas and concerns, and working together to address common issues, allows three communities to address common issues. One of the most significant benefits is the improved standing that the three communities receive in terms of county and state funding.

Somerset Street Streetscape Linkage Project
The Somerset Street Streetscape Linkage Project was a cooperative initiative between Somerville and Raritan. The project was intended to facilitate safe pedestrian passage between the two communities and at the same time, extend the Somerville Streetscape design to the western border of the community. The cooperation of the Department of Transportation in the planning and implementation of the jug-handle construction on the northeast corner of the intersection of Route 206 and Somerset Street allowed the inclusion of street trees, sidewalks, decorative pavers and a park-like seating area.

Traffic Calming Study
The Somerset County Regional Center Neighborhood Traffic Calming and Implementation Plan Project that seeks to improve the quality of life for residents by eliminating cut-through traffic and reducing speeds in residential neighborhoods, and along several commercial corridors.

The following projects have been endorsed, supported by or co-sponsored by the Regional Center Partnership. 

Somerset County Investment Framework
A series of GIS-based infrastructure, community and environmental asset maps which form the basis of a “criteria-based approach” for identifying area most suitable for growth and preservation in Somerset County.   The Somerset County Investment Framework is based on extensive input from municipal, county and state officials, local and regional planners, the business community and other stakeholders.  The Regional Center of Somerset County is one of 24 “Priority Growth Investment Areas” identified in the Somerset County Investment Framework.  In April 2014 the Somerset County Planning Board adopted the County Investment Framework to serve as the geographic basis for all County planning projects and initiatives, including the Somerset County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Somerset County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
A Collaborative Blueprint for Economic Success
A report that identifies and prioritizes economic development strategies to further job creation and private-sector investment in our region of central New Jersey.  The CEDS is built on 9 Priority Focus Areas; within these 9 Priority Focus Areas are 33 Goals supported by nearly 200 discreet projects, programs, and activities.  The Somerset County CEDS report was adopted in April 2014 by the Somerset County Planning Board as an element of the Somerset County Master Plan.

Pedestrian, Bicycle & Greenways Systems Connection Plan
A grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority enabled a study to establish a pedestrian, bicycle, and greenway transportation plan within the Regional Center and beyond.
Bicycle/Pedestrian/Greenways Systems Connection Plan PowerPoint

Pedestrian Overpasses
When a safety issue for pedestrians and bicyclists arose in proximity to the Bridgewater Commons due to lack of pedestrian access from the south side of Route 22, plans were initiated for a pedestrian overpass linking Somerville with the mall. The success of this project led to the planning for a similar overpass over Route 202/206 connecting the Peter’s Brook Greenway with Clark’s Woods and the Somerset Shopping Center.

Green Design Toolkit

The Green Design Toolkit has been prepared for the municipal engineers and code officials to aid in their review of projects participating in the Somerset County High Performance Public Buildings Program, a green building initiative developed by the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) with technical support from the Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

NJ Water Supply Authority Open Space  & Development Study
The purpose of this study is to create a GIS based approach for identifying undeveloped and underutilized nonresidential sites near critical water resources (such as drinking water) and determining whether such sites are more appropriate for economic development, open space preservation or a combination of both.

Route 202 Public Open House Presentation
In 2009, Somerset County, in partnership with Hunterdon County, facilitated a study of the Route 202 corridor between the Flemington and Somerville Circles. The study, funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, was undertaken utilizing an on-line survey system to obtain comments from the public to help identify ways to improve safety and travel along the highway.

Route 202 Corridor Assessment & Multi-Modal Mobility Plan
This study, funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, involved developing a plan to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Route 202 corridor between the Flemington and Somerville Circles by reviewing and assessing vehicular traffic and other multi-modal travel opportunities including walking and bicycling. The plan identifies a series of mobility improvements by focusing on four major elements:
1. Traffic Analysis and Improvements
2. Transit Conditions and Strategies
3. Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities
4. Smart Growth and Transit-Friendly Planning

Route 22 Sustainable Corridor Plan
The Route 22 Suburban Boulevard Sustainable Corridor Plan was developed as a direct result of the Regional Center 1999 “Vision Initiative.” By definition, a Sustainable Corridor is a safe, comfortable, landscaped highway that connects employment and mixed-use centers and provides multi-modal options while enhancing mobility and connections between neighborhoods, making Route 22 in Somerset County a connector rather than a divide.
A plan for the future -

Somerville West End Redevelopment
The former Downtown Somerville Shopping Center, 1970s style strip mall, is under ownership of Edgewood Properties. The redevelopment plan, known as Somerville Town Center, involves the replacement of the demolished 81,526 square feet of retail space with new specialty retail space along West Main Street. The project features the recently completed five-story building along West Main Street and an L-shaped five-story building now under construction at West Main and South Doughty Avenue, both of which incorporate street-level retail with upper floor residential units.

West End Redevelopment Rendering
Somerville Redevelopment Projects Visioning initiatives have led to the initial stages of planning for the redevelopment of the former landfill site on Route 206 and the Kirby Avenue mixed use are on the east end of the community bordering the Finderne section of Bridgewater.
Landfill Vision Plan
Landfill Redevelopment Plan
Kirby Avenue Redevelopment

The Frank “Nap” Torpey Athletic Complex is located along the north side of the Raritan River in Bridgewater Township and is one of several acquired through the Park/Open Space program as part of the Park Commission’s Raritan River Greenway initiative.

The Torpey Complex consists of one lighted grass baseball field, one lighted grass softball field, and one lighted state-of-the-art synthetic turf multi-purpose athletic field programmed for seasonal sports. The complex is also home to a 10,000 square foot building for public and employee use with attached bleachers adding 1,000 seats to allow spectator seating of a total of 1,500.

The facility includes two team lockers rooms with bathrooms; large public restrooms with water fountains; a concession area with sinks and storage space; an employee room with tool and equipment storage, office, and bathroom; a night and weekend attendant/Park Ranger sub-station with office and equipment rental storage; and a climate-controlled press box overlooking the turf field.

Fostering Growth in Emerging Industries