Lettiere cuts ribbon on Route 10
congestion relief program in Morris County
(East Hanover) - Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere was joined by State and local officials today to cut the ribbon at a highway safety project on Route 10 in East Hanover and Hanover townships. Lettiere also stressed that an infusion of revenue into the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) is required for the state to able to fund other highway safety projects like the Route 10 job.
“We must do everything in our power to make our highways safer for all the motorists that use our roads.” Lettiere added. “We have a personal responsibility to invest whatever time, money, and effort is necessary to improve our roads to reduce the risk of accidents and ease congestion.”
“Transportation is the lifeblood of this state. The health of our transportation system is crucial to the quality of life we enjoy in New Jersey,” Lettiere said. “Our system is also the busiest and has the highest usage,” Lettiere said. “And it is among the oldest in the nation. The wear and tear on it requires constant maintenance and upgrades.”
The Route 10 project made significant improvements to the corridor. Lanes in each direction were widened and dedicated left-turn lanes and right-turn lanes were added. Also, bridge over the Whippany River was replaced with a wider structure. Construction for the $11.5 million project was funded through the TTF.
Lettiere said that a new source of revenue into the TTF would allow for greater local transportation aid, which helps keep property taxes down, and enable the state to move ahead with many needed projects on the highway and public transit systems.
“We need to be responsible and face this difficult situation head on,” Lettiere added. “We’re in a hole and we’re not going to get out of it with more digging. We have needs that far outstrip our resources and those resources are in danger of dwindling to nothing unless we act now.”
Earlier this week, a Blue Ribbon Commission appointed by Gov. James E. McGreevey, recommended a constitutionally dedicated 12.5-cent gasoline tax hike to bolster revenue to the TTF, in addition to calling for greater financial oversight of the fund.
The Commission cited a staggering need for transportation investments in New Jersey and the impending insolvency of the TTF. The TTF, which has been the primary funding mechanism for State transportation dollars since 1984, needs new revenue or the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s $2.6 billion annual capital program will shut down.