Acting Governor Signs Legislation
Funding Statewide Bridge Repairs
Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco signed legislation today in Chatham appropriating $145 million from the 1999 Statewide Transportation and Local Bridge Fund to be allocated for grants to each of New Jersey's 21 counties to repair or rebuild structurally deficient bridges.
"Today, we appropriate the final $145 million from the 1999 Statewide Transportation and Local Bridge Fund to ensure that the state's bridges are safe and up to date. Traffic will run much smoother on these bridges once they have undergone the necessary repairs resulting in reduced traffic congestion throughout the state," said the acting Governor during the bill signing ceremony on the Watchung Avenue/River Road Bridge.
The 1999 Statewide Transportation and Local Bridge Fund was created from the voter-supported sale of $500 million in state general obligation bonds to fund the rehabilitation and improvement of structurally-deficient bridges and transportation projects throughout the state.
Of today's appropriation, $100 million will be used to repair bridges throughout the state carrying county or municipal roads and $45 million will be appropriated to the Department of Transportation for statewide transportation projects.
Morris County will receive $4 million to replace or repair their county and municipal bridges including the Watchung Avenue/River Road Bridge, which was built in 1925 and since has received no major restoration work. The Watchung Avenue/River Road Bridge is being totally replaced and is expected to be completed by next July.
"Throughout my career as Senate President and now as acting Governor, I have led the effort for improving our state's transportation system. Last fall, the voters of New Jersey overwhelmingly approved my proposal to dedicate existing tax revenue to support the Transportation Trust Fund, which will help sustain a reliable transportation network of good, well-maintained roads and bridges," said DiFrancesco.
S-1799 is sponsored by Senators Raymond Zane (R-Salem/Cumberland/ Gloucester) and Andrew Ciesla (R-Monmouth/Ocean) and Assemblymen Alex DeCroce (R-Essex/Morris/Passaic) and Francis Bodine (R-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden).