TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Construction on many New Jersey roads is set to come to a halt at midnight on Friday.
Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order after he and lawmakers could not reach a deal on raising the gas tax which funds the Transportation Trust Fund.
It’s not just major highways being affected, but local roads and bridges as well because as CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, many towns get grants from the fund.
Work on the Summit Avenue Bridge is stopping because of the governor’s executive order, and drivers using the major thoroughfare said it’s delaying an already stressful project.
“It was supposed to be finished by September, this and both the Republicans and Democrats are to blame,” Robert Smith said.
In Union, work on Walker Avenue — which connects counties — will end as well.
Part of the road is done, the other half is bump and filled with cracks and holes.
On the other side of town the brakes will be put on an important road project by a school.
“Many parents bring their children to school, so the devastation in that road cracking – it needed to be fixed so we waited til school was closed,” Union Mayor Manuel Figueiredo (D) said, “That’s going to delays us from getting this done before a September opening, and we don’t want to put parents, children at risk.”
The list of projects the governor is putting the brakes on is almost 50 pages long covering close to 1,000 locations.
Many towns plan on abiding by the order and stopping work, but in Mountainside officials said they will continue a crucial road project by taking money out of their capital fund.
That means homeowners could get slapped with a higher property tax bill next year. It’s something that could happen across the state.
“I think they should come up with a compromise situation real fast,” one driver said.
The executive order excludes emergency work and work on roads and bridges in terrible disrepair. There’s still $85-million in the Transportation Trust Fund for those projects. The governor said part of the reason for the executive order was making sure there was enough money for the emergency projects as all sides work to come up with a compromise.
The governor is expected to come back from his trip to Italy on Friday.