Dredging work among transportation projects to shut down due to insufficient funds

    The MURDEN

    The MURDEN

    Numerous dredging projects in key tidal waterways will come to a halt Friday night for at least a week as New Jersey looks for money to pay for transportation projects.

    The state Department of Transportation and New Jersey Transit released lists of projects Wednesday that will be suspended at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

    The dredging suspension includes work in the Shark River, Avalon, Barnegat Inlet area channels, Manasquan River, and the Gateway Bridge in Pleasantville. 

    The Shark River and Manasquan River dredging projects are particularly critical due to increased sedimentation following Hurricane Sandy. 

    A deal to fund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) by raising the state gas tax failed to pass the Senate last week. The proposal had passed the Assembly earlier in the week.

    An executive order signed last Thursday by Republican Gov. Chris Christie called for the suspension.

    “As this executive order states, in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of this State, it is necessary that the remaining amounts held by the TTF not be spent on any transportation project that is not absolutely essential,” Governor Christie stated in signing the order. 

    Projects paid for by federal funds and projects deemed “absolutely essential” can continue.

    The suspended projects encompass all 21 New Jersey counties and range in cost from under $100,000 to hundreds of millions of dollars.

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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