Transportation construction projects in New Jersey are getting underway again after Gov. Chris Christie rescinded his executive order that shut down work.
Christie allowed work to resume after he signed the gas tax hike on Friday.
Robert Briant, the CEO of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association, said the 4,000 workers who were idled by the shutdown are relived they’re getting back on the job.
“We just wish it was done a little bit sooner than later. I know there’s a lot of working men and women out there that have really been pinched hard on this, and I know they’re very excited to get back to work,” Briant said Monday. “And just in time. We’ve got the holiday seasons coming up, and it would have just been awful if they missed that time.”
A substantial portion of the delayed projects might not be completed this year, he said.
“We lost of minimum of two months on these project schedules. So I don’t know how much people can accelerate their work,” Briant said. “If you’re sequenced to pour concrete and you were supposed to pour concrete before wintertime and you can’t get yourself into that position, now it goes over until you have weather which is in March and April when you got to pour concrete.”
Briant believes most of the delayed paving work will not be finished until spring.
Having to move equipment back to the worksites and expected increases in labor costs will make projects more expensive, he said.