Most Jersey motorists may not realize it but a new report finds they are driving over structurally deficient bridges all the time!

Steven Higashide, Federal Advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign says data from a study put together by Transportation For America indicates "over 10 million drivers are crossing a structurally deficient bridge every day - and what this shows is that there are very serious repair and maintenance needs in New Jersey…in north and central Jersey 8 and a half million drivers are passing over a deficient bridge every day - while in southern Jersey you're looking at over 2 million drivers who cross a deficient bridge daily."

He says this is especially troubling because lawmakers in Washington are now working on the fiscal year 2012 budget, "and when you look at funding levels in the House, there's a proposal that would cut federal funding for bridge road and transit projects by about a third…this could result in a reduction of about half a billion dollars in federal transportation dollars for the Garden state…it's very difficult to see how the state could sustain a cut of that nature - it would mean potentially really having to cut back on maintenance and repair."

Higashide points out "a structurally deficient bridge is a bridge that has deteriorated to the point where the state needs to keep a close eye on it…a bridge would be closed if it's found to be unsafe…but that's not a point we want to get to - having to close a bridge would create a huge drag on the economy and it would be a huge hassle for commuters."

He adds "we need to repair our infrastructure to keep the economy moving to keep New Jersey competitive- times are tough, but that's a reason to invest in infrastructure and put people back to work."