50% of state roadways are in poor condition, NJDOT reports
Fifty percent of New Jersey highways maintained by the state Department of Transportation are in poor condition. Half of the 8,402 miles highway needs 438 improvement projects statewide at a cost of $811.9M, according to a DOT report issued Thursday.
This report stressed out the importance of Gov. Chris Christie's $8B 5-year Transportation Capital Plan which includes enhanced and sustained roadway preservation funding with no increase in taxes.
"New Jersey's roads take a beating from heavy traffic and our transportation-based industries," Christie said. "We need a sustained, multi-year effort to improve the condition of our state's roads. This new roadway condition report spells out the need for high investment levels, and our five-year transportation capital plan pave the way for better roads and economic growth."
Under the five-year Transportation Capital Plan, the proposed 2011-2012 capital program, which will be the first year of the said five-year plan, investments in roadway preservation project would reach $284M or $93M more than the 2009-2010 year. Now, the completed five-year roadway preservation investments would reach $1.35B.
The DOT has repaired 8,410 miles of highway since 2005, including 511 in 2010. Overall, the DOT maintains slightly more than 13,000 lane miles of roads, shoulders, and ramps statewide. The department has established a goal of reducing roadway deficiency to no more than 20%, which analysis indicates, requires an average investment of approximately $290 million per year for over a 10 year period. It will take an average investment of approximately $600M per year, for over 10 years, to eliminate the backlog of deficient pavements.
This action by our Gov. Christie, together with the Department of Transportation, is a good sign that they are well aware of the dilemma of heavy traffic jam battled everyday by our motorists. It is not only the traffic jam that they are trying to resolve with this, they will also lessen the road accidents caused by defective roads, and this will bring safety to each and everyone of us.
But isn't the budget too high? If I remember is well right, Gov. Christie peeled off some of education's budget to be able to put up a large budget on highways and transit systems preservation. Is this a right move everyone?
Well, let's all just hope that Gov. Christie's plan on preserving these state highways will bring the best results, because it's not a good score when he trimmed off education's budget for these kinds of road preservation but will only turn out to nothing.