SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An engineers’ group gave a D-plus grade to the infrastructure in New Jersey in a report released Thursday.

As WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reported, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ report gave the D-plus grade to the state’s roads and bridges, and a D-minus to transit.

Bridges are the biggest concern for the organization. Michael Sears worked on the report card.

“Thirty-eight percent of our bridges are either structurally deficient, scour critical, or functionally obsolete,” Sears said.

Those designations do not mean the bridges are about to fall, down but they do require attention, Sears said.

Then there are the roads, which frustrate drivers such as Peter from North Bergen.

“On (Route) 1 & 9, there’s like a stretch where you go up the ramp and you just have to like run with the potholes,” he said.

In fact, the report card said 42 percent of New Jersey roads are deficient.

The lousy performance comes as the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is set to expire. The fund is used to keep state roads, mass transit, and infrastructure safe.

Acting New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Richard Hammer warned in April that while the Transportation Trust Fund will likely have enough cash to carry it beyond the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, it will likely run out of money in early August without a cash infusion.

Democratic lawmakers have proposed raising the gas tax to replenish the funding. But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said any deal must result in “tax fairness” for the state’s residents, but neither side has put forward a concrete plan to bridge the funding gap.

But the civil engineers’ society’s Luis Barragan told WCBS 880’s Colombini that if a gas tax hike is what it takes, he is all for it.

“You know, the public needs to understand if we don’t send the money now, we’re going to spend a lot more in the future, which taxpayers end up paying for that,” Barragan said.

The group’s last report in 2007 gave New Jersey a C-minus grade.

Thursday’s report gave New Jersey residents high marks for recycling. It said residents create almost three times as much waste per person than the national average, but that their recycling rates are among the highest in the nation.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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