Governor Christie Promotes Crucial Route 206 Enhancement Through Somerset and Morris Counties

TTF-Funded Project Improves Safety, Quality of Life, and Economic Viability of Main Area Thoroughfare

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today visited Gladstone to tour a project ensuring the safety and preservation of an 8-mile stretch of Route 206 from Bedminster, Somerset County, to Chester Borough, Morris County. This project will improve ride quality, extend the service life of the existing pavement and save future rehabilitation costs for taxpayers and 22,000 motorists who travel that stretch each day.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) project will start next month and involves applying a slurry seal to the highway to address low severity surface defects to protect the underlying structure.  That section of Route 206 is mostly a single lane in each direction with small sections of two lanes in each direction. The work is made possible due to funding from New Jersey’s job-creating Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which will generate $4 billion for infrastructure improvements over the next year.

“As we begin the first full year of historic Transportation Trust Fund investments, residents are starting to see work going on in every area of the state on roads, bridges, and mass transit to improve safety, increase efficiency, and generally enhance the traveling experience for all,” Governor Christie said. “When I signed the job-creating, tax-cutting TTF plan last October, I promised the people of New Jersey they would see their tax dollars at work immediately and, based on the progress we have already seen in the last few months, they can rest assured we will have one of the finest and most reliable transportation systems in the nation.”

In Somerset County, there are six TTF-funded projects in construction, concept development or design, valued at $64.6 million, as part of 33 total NJDOT state and federally-funded projects in design or under construction there. In Morris County, there are 12 TTF-funded projects in construction, concept development, or design, valued at an estimated $43.8 million, as part of 43 total NJDOT state and federally-funded projects there.

The Route 206 pavement preservation project is part of a larger $6 million project that includes 7 miles of Route 46 from White Township to Independence Township in Warren County and 3.3 miles of Route 208 from Fairlawn to Glen Rock in Bergen County.  In total, those three projects will impact as many as 110,000 motorists each day and will be completed later this year or early next year.

The TTF provides $4 billion annually for New Jersey's transportation infrastructure, facilitating a $32 billion total investment of federal and state funds over eight years. To create immediate action prior to the start of the first year of the TTF, which began July 1, Governor Christie approved $400 million in supplemental funding for multiple projects starting in March that included $260 million for repairing local roads and bridges in all 21 counties as well as $140 million to the New Jersey Transit Corporation for implementing technology and system safety improvements. 

The historic TTF legislation, signed by Governor Christie in 2016, represented the first broad-based tax cut since 1994 and included:

•        Cutting the sales tax, which decreased from 7 percent to 6.875 percent this year and will go down to 6.625 percent January 1, 2018;
•     Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor to 35 percent of the federal benefit;
•        Increasing the New Jersey gross income tax exclusion on pension and retirement income over four years to $100,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for individuals and $50,000 for married/filing separately; the estate tax is being eliminated as of January 1, 2018; and
•        Providing an individual state income tax exemption of $3,000 for military veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status.

These tax cuts are estimated to save taxpayers $164 million this year and $1.4 billion when fully phased-in by 2021. Annually, New Jerseyans will receive a net tax savings of hundreds of dollars in taxes, while saving hundreds of dollars in vehicle maintenance costs.

New Jersey’s average price per gallon of gas has remained lower than our neighbors in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, after Garden State voters approved dedicating revenues from a 23-cent per gallon increase to the TTF. 

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TTF - Route 206
TTF - Route 206 Monday, July 17, 2017
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