Streams

State-Backed Road Projects In New Jersey Grind to Halt

Monday, October 04, 2010

The jackhammers and backhoes will be silent today at about a hundred road and bridge repair and construction projects around New Jersey.

Republican Governor Chris Christie is in a stand-off with the Democratically-controlled New Jersey legislature over funding for the projects. He ordered them stopped last week, when Democrats refused to approve a $1.25 billion bond package that would pay for the transportation projects through early next year.

At stake are larger issues over New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund, which is largely depleted.

Christie has rebuffed calls to raise the state's gasoline tax to replenish the fund.

He's also halted work on a massive new cross-Hudson rail tunnel. Although largely federally funded, Christie is concerned about cost overruns on the multi-billion-dollar project.

Critics say Christie wants to take those federal dollars and put them into the state trust fund for other projects.

Democrats have an emergency meeting scheduled for 10 o'clock Monday morning to consider the bond.

The work stoppage won't affect federally funded projects and emergency repairs.

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