Thursday, March 11, 2010

And you think New Jersey potholes are bad now?

A new report released today says that the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund will run out of money by mid-2011 at the latest, placing road repairs, transit services and vital federal funds at risk.

The 12-page analysis, titled, "Spiral of Debt: The Unsustainable Structure of New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund,” was written by Regional Plan Association in conjunction with Tri-State Transportation Campaign and New Jersey Future. It details revenue sources and expenditures, and shows how the nearly $900 million in tax revenues raised for the fund every year will, by next year, be dedicated entirely to paying off interest and principal on old debt.

The report's authors warn that, in the absence of a solid financing mechanism for the Transportation Trust Fund, New Jersey residents will be looking at deteriorated roadways and less transit service at a higher cost. Also at risk is $1.6 billion in federal matching grants.

The report no doubt will receive attention at the next meeting of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority, which is responsible for the financing, construction, repair and rehabilitation of the state's transportation system. The Authority's next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, March 19,at the NJ Department of Transportation, 1035 Parkway Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08625.

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