Number of the Day: 50 percent

NJ Spotlight | April 11, 2011

Approximately one-half of the state’s 2,316 miles of highway are deficient, according to the Christie administration. That’s why the governor is advocating an $8 billion, 5-year, capital investment plan.

The state is only responsible for a small portion of the 38,566 centerline miles of roadways in New Jersey. Most roads are under the jurisdiction of counties (6,649 centerline miles) and municipalities (28,539 miles). Another estimated 1,000 miles of highway are maintained by outside authorities, like the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the park system.

The Christie administration says that although the state Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains less than 10 percent of the state highways, it carries approximately half of all traffic. Still, the $8 billion capital plan would apply only to the state’s portion of the roadways.

The condition of state roads has hovered at 50 percent deficient since 2004. Deficient roads are defined as a rough ride as determined by vehicle occupants or surface distress, which is characterized by visible cracking, patching or defaulting. According to the state DOT, 13 percent of the state’s highways are rough and distressed, while 26 percent are distressed and 11 percent are rough. Another 30 percent of the roads were determined to be fair or mediocre, leaving only 20 percent of the state’s roads considered to be in good shape.