FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There is still a huge funding gap for infrastructure nationally and locally – and commuters in New Jersey have a share of complaints in particular.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, many agree that the Garden State’s roads, bridges and transit system are in bad shape.
“It’s been long overdue that we need some repairs. The roads are just horrible,” said John Glita of Fair Lawn.
That is why many people were not surprised to hear that New Jersey gets a D-plus for infrastructure. The nearly failing grade is based on the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Report Card.
State Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) said continued neglect could be catastrophic to the economy.
“This area has impact on whole country, and I think that justifies investments by the federal government,” Gordon said.
Though it is not physically in New Jersey, Gordon said the Port Authority Bus Terminal needs to be prioritized.
“We know that ridership going to expand by 50 percent between now and 2040, so this is just a situation that cannot persist,” Gordon said.
The report found that one in 11 bridges In New Jersey are classified as structurally deficient. Among them is the 100-year-old Fair Lawn Avenue Bridge, where one lane had to be closed as a precaution.
Gordon points out that NJ TRANSIT has the worst safety record and on-time record of any major mass transit system in the country
The report found that 42 percent of the New Jersey roadway system is also deficient.
“Over the last year, I replaced two tires with potholes, because the potholes are terrible,” Glita said.
The report estimates the bad infrastructure costs the costs the average American family $3,400 a year – roughly $9 per day – in lost time, productivity, and vehicle damage.
“Citizens will hear me say that and say, ‘Well, what about the 23 percent gasoline tax increase?’” said transportation expert Martin Robins. “Well, that came too late, and probably isn’t even enough, but it’s going to help.”
The New Jersey Department of Transportation points out that the report was done prior to the Transportation Trust Fund renewal, which increased funding by 20 percent.
The Christie administration said the Gateway Tunnel Project is at the top of the priority list. The project will expand and renovate the rail line running between New Jersey and New York.