Spanning the Financial Gap Between Bridge Safety and Lower Costs for Drivers

NJTV News | January 22, 2015
While state orders safety inspections, transportation fund has been depleted. But raising gas taxes to replenish the fund isn’t a very popular idea

We don’t want bridges to collapse as we drive over them. But are we willing to pay the price of repairing New Jersey’s dilapidated and dangerous spans?

Recent emergency closings of roadway bridges in Dover and Franklin Township (Somerset County) – and the collapse of a highway span in Cincinnati – underscored the problem.

In the wake of the Ohio incident, transportation officials in New Jersey ordered emergency re-inspections of 40 of New Jersey’s most structurally deficient bridges.

But there’s no money in the state’s Transportation Trust Fund to repair bridges.

One way to replenish that fund would be to raise the state’s gasoline tax, which already adds 14 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas (on top of an 18-cent federal tax). But that idea’s not very popular with motorists, even though New Jersey’s gas is the lowest in the nation.

Read the full report by NJTV, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.