Press Release  

For immediate release: October 19, 2011

Contact:
Tri-State Transportation Campaign: Steven Higashide, 212-268-7474
Transportation For America: David Goldberg, 202-412-7930

 

Report: Over 10 Million Drivers Cross Deficient Bridges in NJ Every Day

NJ SENATORS REACT TO DEFICIENT BRIDGE REPORT  

Transportation advocates warned of potential federal cuts in bridge and other transportation funding after a national report from Transportation For America, The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation's Busiest Bridges, showed that over 10 million drivers cross structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey every day.

The region’s aging infrastructure means that drivers frequently cross structurally deficient bridges, particularly in metro areas. For example:

The federal Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which is being debated by Congress, could make it harder for states to maintain bridges, because a budget proposal being considered by the House would cut federal road, bridge, and public transit funds by a third. Congress also has been unable to pass a long-term transportation funding bill for 2 years.

“Too many of New Jersey’s bridges are deteriorating and in desperate need of repair,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg stated.  “Those in Washington who are undercutting transportation projects must stop, and work together to invest in infrastructure that will create jobs, make our communities safer and improve the economy for all.”

“Many in Congress have talked about steep cuts to transportation, but this report shows that we can’t afford to cut back,” Senator Robert Menendez stated. “Investing in bridges and transportation keeps our residents safe and our economy competitive, and puts people back to work.”

“Every second, more than a hundred drivers cross a deficient bridge in New Jersey. The state’s transportation budget is already financially constrained, so it’s obvious that the last thing New Jersey needs is federal cuts,” said Steven Higashide, federal advocate for Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

The specific bill being considered by Congress is the FY2012 appropriations bill funding the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. While the version of the bill being considered by the Senate would largely maintain current levels of transportation funding, the version passed by a House subcommittee includes cuts of roughly a third to bridge, road, and transportation funding, as well as cuts to Amtrak.

The national report included data for the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducted an analysis of that report to break out NJ-specific data:

 

TABLE: Area Metros ranked by avg. daily traffic on deficient bridges

Metro Population 2009

Metro Area Name

Percent Deficient

Total Deficient Bridges

Average Daily Traffic on Deficient Bridges

Drivers crossing deficient bridge every second

19,069,796

New York-Northern NJ-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

9.80%

778

17,505,467

203

 

New Jersey portion of NYC metro area

10.16%

465

8,591,823

99

5,968,252

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

20.00%

907

9,355,193

108

 

New Jersey portion of Philadelphia metro area

9.06%

85

2,029,574

23

Data: Transportation For America. NJ breakout analysis of metro areas by Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Metro areas are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

“There are more deficient bridges in our metropolitan areas than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the entire country,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America; there are 18,239 deficient bridges versus roughly 14,000 McDonald’s. “These metropolitan-area bridges are most costly and difficult to fix, but they also are the most urgent, because they carry such a large share of the nation’s people and goods.”

The national report includes data for 102 metropolitan areas and is available on T4America’s website: Click here or visit t4america.org.

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Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. www.tstc.org

Transportation for America is the largest, most diverse coalition working on transportation reform today. We believe it is time for a bold new vision — transportation that guarantees our freedom to move however we choose and leads to a stronger economy, greater energy security, cleaner environment and healthier America for all of us. We’re calling for more responsible investment of our federal tax dollars to create a safer, cleaner, smarter transportation system that works for everyone. www.t4america.org