MINE HILL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of transportation projects will come to a grinding halt in New Jersey.
Governor Chris Christie has issued an executive order to stop them by midnight.READ MORE: Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel Protesters Clash In Manhattan Over Escalating Crisis In The Middle East
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, that means some residents may not be able to get out of their driveways.
A mile-and-a-half long sidewalk and road project along Randolph Ave in the township of Mine Hill is nearly complete.
“We are literally one to two days away from finishing the long-planned, and long budgeted project,” Mine Hill Mayor, Sam Morris said.
But the safe route to school project is about to be left incomplete.
“There isn’t any reason to stop this project, but as of midnight tonight the governor’s edict is any work that occurs on this project will not be refunded,” Morris said.
Shovels were already in the ground when Christie ordered that all temporary, ongoing projects, funded by the Transportation Trust Fund be stopped by midnight on Friday.
The order came after the senate did not pass the gas tax as a solution.
Mayor Sam Morris asked the Lieutenant Governor — while Christie was away on vacation in Italy — if the town’s nearly finished project could continue. The answer was no.READ MORE: Caught On Camera: Man Attacks, Robs Father And Son After Fender Bender In Queens
“We have project costs of $160,000. We have a state grant of $120,000, to defray some of the cost we obtained $90,000 allocated to use. The other $30,000 is in jeopardy because of the freeze,” engineer Paul Sternbenz explained.
Because of the gridlock residents in Mine Hill may be left with a mess in front of their homes.
“It would be pretty poor for the people whose driveways still aren’t complete. They won’t be able to get in and out of driveways,” Jeff Furth said.
“On this stretch we are doing now, there is a child quadriplegic. If I didn’t bring in extra crews, extra expense, they are going to have a real difficult time getting in and out. That’s not right,” Morris said.
Juan Cedeno has kids who plan to use the sidewalk to get to school, and dogs to walk.
“If you don’t finish it’s not going to be safe anymore,” he said.
The mayor said the cost to stop and restart the project and bring all of the equipment back on site is a big expense that the township has not budgeted for and the state has not offered to reimburse.
“They’ve known this was coming. They should have been planning detailed meetings, coming with responsible ways to fix the trust fund,” Morris said.MORE NEWS: Itching To Travel? Experts Offer Tips On Where To Go & How To Get There
To keep residents safe, the township is footing the bill so the contractor can bring in additional crews and work late to get most of the project finished and cleaned up before midnight.