Christie delays signing law raising gas tax, restarting transit construction projects

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says he's confident Gov. Chris Christie will sign the legislation to replenish the state's Transportation Trust Fund and restart transit construction projects. (Mel Evans/AP photo)

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says he's confident Gov. Chris Christie will sign the legislation to replenish the state's Transportation Trust Fund and restart transit construction projects. (Mel Evans/AP photo)

A week after New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation to renew the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, Gov. Chris Christie still hasn’t signed the bill.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said Thursday he isn’t sure why Christie finalized the legislation or revoked the executive order that shut down transportation projects across the state for about three months.

“The problem is people aren’t working. The projects haven’t started back up again. We pretty much lost the season. You’ll see a busy spring where there’s going to be a lot more work because the weather in certain temperatures you can’t put asphalt down,” said Sweeney, D-Gloucester. “You can work on bridges, but even production on bridges is slower when it’s cold.”

Sweeney said he’s confident Christie will sign the measure soon.

Even when that happens, Sweeney said, distribution of the expected $2 billion a year for transportation projects will entail further work.

“We’re working on legislation because right now the Department of Transportation can roughly handle $600 million a year because they’ve lost so much staffing,” he said. “So we’re going to have to do some legislation to figure out how to get the projects actually out and on the streets so we can get some people back to work.”

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