Governor Christie Delivers Record-Setting Year of NJ Transportation Infrastructure Improvements

Governor Tours Safety, Preservation Project in Mercer County

Trenton, NJ - Governor Chris Christie today announced the state’s transportation infrastructure investment topped $1.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2017, setting a record for the highest value of improvement contracts in the same year he initiated the first broad-based tax cuts for New Jerseyans since 1994. The Governor made the announcement in East Windsor, as he toured a nearly completed safety, preservation and cost-saving project across major thoroughfares in Mercer County that will improve ride quality for nearly 30,000 daily motorists along 21 lane miles.

“Despite a 100-day stoppage on road projects last year, as I successfully pushed for a Transportation Trust Fund plan that more than offsets a higher gas tax with tax cuts for New Jerseyans, my administration was still able to make the largest investment in transportation infrastructure improvements in state history,” Governor Christie said. “These projects will promote public safety, create jobs, enhance New Jersey’s economy and improve the quality of life for the roughly 110 million people who live, work and travel in our state each year,”

The project toured by the Governor involves Route 130, an Urban Principal Arterial road consisting of two lanes in each direction with multiple at grade intersections, and Route 129, a mostly four-lane road used daily by thousands of hard-working commuters and commercial enterprises. This $2.3 million enhancement of both state highways is to be completed with the installation of final striping in the next few weeks.

The Route 129-Route130 project is yet another example of a timely safety and preservation project that will improve transportation quality, extend the service life of crucial highways and save taxpayers from future, larger rehabilitation costs.

A total of 165 projects were awarded in Fiscal Year 2017, with 60 Capital Projects awarded at a value of approximately $873.5 million; 102 Maintenance and Operations projects valued at about $335.7 million; and three Transportation Systems Management projects totaling nearly $12 million.

“The record amount of work we were able to put out on the street in FY17, despite losing more than one-third of the year to the shutdown while the TTF Renewal was being resolved, is a testament to the exceptional staff at the Department of Transportation,” DOT Commissioner Richard T. Hammer said. “These projects will provide good paying jobs and help ensure New Jersey’s roadway and bridge infrastructure is well maintained for decades to come.”

Bridge repair and maintenance are receiving an investment of $556.9 million, while resurfacing and pavement preservation projects are receiving $374.4 million. Projects range in size from a $472,000 intersection improvement project on Route 27 and Grand Street in Elizabeth to the $195.2 million Route 7/Wittpenn Bridge Contract 4.

The previous record for transportation project investments in a single fiscal year was also achieved under the Christie administration at $1.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2013.

The TTF provides $4 billion annually for New Jersey's transportation infrastructure, facilitating a $32 billion total investment of federal and state funds over eight years. To create immediate action prior to the start of the first year of the TTF, which began July 1, Governor Christie approved $400 million in supplemental funding for multiple projects starting in March that included $260 million for repairing local roads and bridges in all 21 counties as well as $140 million to the New Jersey Transit Corporation for implementing technology and system safety improvements. 

The historic TTF legislation, signed by Governor Christie in 2016, represented tax parity for New Jerseyans, providing the first increase in the states gas tax in 28 years to offer a steady stream of funding for necessary transportation projects while also offering the first broad-based tax cuts since 1994. Tax relief includes:

•        Cutting the sales tax, which decreased from 7 percent to 6.875 percent this year and will go down to 6.625 percent January 1, 2018; 
•        Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor to 35 percent of the federal benefit;
•        Increasing the New Jersey gross income tax exclusion on pension and retirement income over four years to $100,000 for joint filers, $75,000 for individuals and $50,000 for married/filing separately; the estate tax is being eliminated as of January 1, 2018; and
•        Providing an individual state income tax exemption of $3,000 for military veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active duty status.

These tax cuts are estimated to save taxpayers $164 million this year and $1.4 billion when fully phased-in by 2021. Annually, New Jerseyans will receive a net tax savings of hundreds of dollars in taxes, while saving hundreds of dollars in vehicle maintenance costs.

New Jersey’s average price per gallon of gas has remained lower than our neighbors in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, after Garden State voters approved dedicating revenues from a 23-cent per gallon increase to the TTF. 

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Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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