N.J. lawmakers advance transportation funding bills

 (Google Street View of a highway in South Jersey)

(Google Street View of a highway in South Jersey)

Governor Christie proposed it in his state budget — and now the Budget Committee in New Jersey’s Senate has voted to advance a measure allocating $400 million from the Transportation Trust fund for needed improvements.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says $140 million in gas tax revenues will go to New Jersey Transit for safety and technology upgrades.

“New Jersey Transit is a critical, critical component of our quality of life in this state. Getting dollars to them quickly so they can start maintaining their equipment better is critically important.”

The New Jersey Transportation Department would get $260 million for road and bridge repairs in all 21 counties in the state.

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Anthony Attanasio with the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association said a backlog of work is ready to go when the measure gets final approval.

“There will be a huge plus for the economy. Not only because of the jobs that will be created in the construction phase but ultimately when this work is done it’s going to help people get from point A to point B quicker and safer and therefore save them time and money.”

Christie wanted the money spent with 100 days. Attanasio believes that can happen.

“Resurfacing, some bridge deck work, I mean there’s absolutely a whole backlog of work ready to go, that if it’s funded, the department is more than capable of getting the work out, and our industry is capable of building it.”

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