A decade of dedication to road issues in Ocean County and New Jersey earn county Freeholder James Lacey a singular nod from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

Ocean County Freeholder James Lacey (c), flanked by NJTPA Executive Director Mary Murphy and Chairman Matthew Holt . (Stuart Ramson)

NJTPA officials marked Lacey's 10 years on the board at their annual meeting this month in Newark.

Lacey joined the NJTPA board in 2003 and rose to its Executive Committee this past year. Currently, he's the group's Second Vice Chairman and also chairs its Planning and Economic Development Committee.

The freeholder is credited with drawing federal dollars to county construction and studies, overseeing replacement of the Mantoloking Road Bridge over Barnegat Bay, and shepherding improvements at Garden State Parkway exits 91 and 67 - the latter being a conversion to a full interchange.

Lacey also serves the Board of Freeholders as its deputy director this year, and continues his longstanding role as the board's liaison to solid waste management. He started his career in the 1980s as a member of the Point Pleasant Beach Borough Council.

NJTPA involves local officials , public transit operators and state agency staffers in ongoing plans to mee the transportation needs of 13 New Jersey counties.