Watch out, commuters: These are the big road projects in 2016
New Jersey's Transportation Trust fund, which is used to pay for all road and bridge projects, is almost depleted and will go into bankruptcy in the coming months unless a dedicated funding source is found.
Nevertheless, the state Department of Transportation is moving ahead with several major repair and construction projects in 2016.
“The DOT has two major ongoing construction projects underway, one is the Pulaski Skyway as you know, in Hudson County, and the other one is Route 295 direct connection in Camden County,” said Dan Triana, a DOT spokesman.
The $1 billion Skyway project isn’t expected to be completed until 2020, while the Route 295 connection project should be finished in 2021.
Triana said projects underway this year include:
- A new Wittpenn bridge is being built on Route 7 over the Hackensack River in Hudson County;
- The Route 37 Mathis bridge construction project between Toms River and Seaside Heights in Ocean County;
- The Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge work in Ocean County; and
- The Route 280-Route 21 improvement project in Essex County
“These these are major construction projects that are ongoing that people will see throughout 2016,” he said.
Triana added a number of other significant projects will begin sometime this year, including:
- The Route 3, Route 46 interchange rebuilding project in Clifton;
- The Route 70 Redlion Road pavement project in Burlington County;
- An Interstate 78 bridge deck replacement project over Route 1 and 9 in Newark, Essex County;
- A Route 80 repaving project in the Paterson, Elmwood Park and Hackensack area in Passaic and Bergen Counties; and
- Replacement of the Route 130 Raccoon Creek Bridge and pavement rehabilitation in Gloucester County.
So if the Transportation Trust Fund is broke, how will the DOT pay for all of this?
Triana insists nobody is pushing the panic button.
“The department right now is confident that the governor and the Legislature will find a solution to this, the funding question, so we’re moving on,” he said. “A lot of these project are funded already since they’re ongoing, they’ve started a few years back, so a lot of funds have been allocated for these projects.”
He added “we’re confident that moving forward we’ll be able to complete the projects with the additional funding that’s needed, we’re hopeful and we’re pretty confident that there will be a solution, exactly what the solution is I couldn’t guess.”
While the DOT work continues, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority continues widening work on the Garden State Parkway in Atlantic County.