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N.J. Official: Speed Up Utility Work For Road Projects

Road Construction (Credit: CBS 2)

Road Construction (Credit: CBS 2)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A push has been launched in New Jersey to speed up utilities when new road projects are ready to go.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, at a hearing of the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee, Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Anthony Attanasio told lawmakers that road construction projects are routinely held up by utilities delayed in relocating wires or pipes.

The department cited a three-year stall of the Route 18 extension in Piscataway, and more than a nine-month delay on Route 3 over the Passaic River.

State Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski knows the frustration.

“You’re driving by a road project, and months after months after months it’s not completed,” he said.

Lawmakers have been reviewing legislation to hold utilities accountable, and possibly save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year.

“There would be penalties on the utility company for not living up to its agreement to move infrastructure by the day agreed upon,” Wisniewski said.

The New Jersey Utilities Association said the effort gives too much power to the DOT in deciding who is to blame for the delays.

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