NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new study has ranked every state’s highway system and the news isn’t good for New Jersey – who finished last in the nation.
The new report on both road conditions and wasteful spending on road repairs says New Jersey is in a league of its own when it comes to funding construction.
“In some cases, New Jersey spends double what the 49th state does,” Baruch Feigenbaum, the co-author of the annual report by the Reason Foundation said.
Florida spends about $300,000 per mile on average to maintain its roadways – it costs New Jersey $600,000 to do the same job.
“Here we get zonked more in taxes. Where does the tax money go?” commuter Jane Alfidi asked.
“Usually when we see states with relatively high spending we see really good pavement conditions. Unfortunately New Jersey’s pavement conditions also in the bottom ten,” Feigenbaum explained.
“The labor costs in New Jersey are also a problem and labor costs in unionized states tend to be higher. ”
Drivers CBS2 spoke to at a rest top off the Garden State Parkway say they are not surprised by the findings.
“There’s a lot of pot holes that need to be covered up,” Matt Sullivan said.
“How long do they take repairing? You see out there months at a time… nothing gets done,” Alex Trajkovic added.
Feigenbaum suggests that the congested state spend more transportation trust fund dollars collected through the gas tax on roadway projects – instead of steering the majority towards mass transit.
Tell that to NJ TRANSIT commuters who are in dire need of relief too.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation says it is reviewing the report.
There was a bit of good news for the garden state.
“New Jersey does have a safe system… Overall fatality rates are low… Rates of structurally deficient bridges is good as well,” Feigenbaum added.
The report also suggests there is evidence that road projects are being selected for political reasons. It recommends the state adopt a cost-benefit analysis for selecting road projects instead.
The annual highway report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state controlled highways in 13 categories.
They include the condition of the pavement, structurally deficient bridges, congestion, and traffic fatalities.