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See the list of N.J. road projects near you that will shut down on Friday

Thursday, July 7, 2016   (0 Comments)
Share | 07/07/16

Gov. Chris Christie's office on Wednesday released the list of nonessential road projects that will grind to a halt Friday at midnightThe list represents $3.5 billion worth of road and rail projects across the state. It comes after the governor announced last week his plans to shut down nonessential state-funded road projects amid a stalemate with Senate lawmakers over a plan to fund the state's nearly broke Transportation Trust Fund. The order calls for halting hundreds of NJ Transit and state Department of Transportation nonessential projects on Friday for "a period of at least seven days," according to the governor's office. Then, both agencies will use the seven days to determine if any of the projects will be added to the state's essential list.

The state was estimated to have about $85 million on hand by the time the TTF expired late last week. Christie said in a statement it's necessary to shut down nonessential projects "in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this state." "... It is necessary that the remaining amounts held by the TTF not be spent on any transportation project that is not absolutely essential," he said. Axed from NJ Transit's $2.7 billion capital budget are new bus purchases and rebuilding of older locomotives and rail cars, which would have increased reliability and reduced delays for commuters. The largest item is deferring purchase of 772 new "cruiser" commuter buses for $712 million. 

Another $18.5 million in rehabilitation and repair projects at six stations also will be put off, as well as various track, overhead wire and bridge work. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), who sided with Christie on a funding proposal for the TTF, called the shutdown "unfortunate." "... (It) re-emphasizes the need for a transportation funding solution as soon as possible. We cannot allow this to continue," Prieto said in a statement. "The Assembly has acted to fund transportation, keep laborers on the job and reinvigorate our economy. All sides must work cooperatively toward finding a solution everyone can agree to so it becomes law sooner rather than later." Christie's order last week to shutdown nonessential projects came at the end of a day where the state Senate refused to take action on his offer to raise the gasoline tax by 23 cents a gallon in exchange for a 1-cent reduction in the sales tax.


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