| Things to think about
the past, as much as 40 percent of New Jersey’s construction
and maintenance dollars went toward building new roads, often
promoting suburban sprawl. In fiscal year 2001, however, only
4 percent of the state’s proposed transportation capital investments
is budgeted for new capacity highway improvements.
Recent enactment of
the "Statewide Transportation and Local Bridge Bond Act of 1999"
marks an increased emphasis in the repair of existing infrastructure
in cities and suburbs.
Many major roads were
built in New Jersey in the 1950s and 1960s. 40 years later,
these roads and bridges need significant repair.
is fragmented among federal, state, local, and regional agencies.
daily lives take place within New Jersey’s vast transportation
infrastructure. Without proper maintenance, our options and
opportunities - economic and social - will deteriorate along
with our roads, bridges, railways, and ports. The backlog of
repairs on our existing bridges and roads stands at an all-time
high. Our transportation resources have become strained through
building costly and inefficient new infrastructure to accommodate
sprawl-type development in more rural areas, rather than using
them for upkeep of infrastructure in older suburbs, towns, and
An efficient and dependable
transport system is a basic and necessary ingredient for any
kind of economic success. Transportation is especially important
to our economy, as New Jersey is an international shipping and
transportation hub for cars, trucks, ships, airplanes, and trains.
Maintenance costs are simply part of the price of doing business.
However, as with all business expenses, we can be dragged down
by the cost if our transportation and land use systems are not
planned and do not operate efficiently. New Jersey has a special
economic burden as a corridor state with much "pass through"
traffic that doesn’t contribute much to our economy.
environmental impact of a deficit in infrastructure repair depends
on the reasons for the deficit and the actions New Jerseyans
take in response. When the repair backlog exists because new
roads and bridges are being built at the expense of the old,
there are environmental consequences. Development will move
to the new roads, create new demand in new areas, trigger the
need for more roads, and speed the pace of paving New Jersey’s
remaining farms and forests.
Some of our most pressing
social problems - urban decay and poverty- may be caused in
part by a declining infrastructure of housing, streets, and
neighborhoods in urban areas.
does not report on the backlog of repair work for non-road infrastructure,
such as trains or sidewalks. It does not take into account many
of New Jersey’s smaller roads that are not under the jurisdiction
of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Source: NJ Department of Transportation