The state has boosted the tax on gasoline by more than 27 cents a gallon since 2016 to help fuel improvements to New Jersey’s roads, bridges, and tunnels. But fully a third of those responding to a joint survey from Fairleigh Dickinson University and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 say their ride has gotten a lot rougher, noting that quality and safety have declined. What’s more, almost 40 percent indicate their cars have been damaged by potholes and other problems. About half (53 perfect) did not experience similar damage.
There’s not much of a bright side to this survey. Sixteen percent say the quality of the state’s roads, bridges, and tunnels has improved, and fifteen percent believe safety is better today. Around half say quality (47 percent) and safety (50 percent) remain the same.
“Recently the American Society of Civil Engineers gave New Jersey infrastructure a grade of D, and it is clear to the public that improvements aren’t happening,” said Gregory Lalevee, business manager of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825.
Almost three-quarters (70 percent) of respondents rate the state’s roads, bridges, and tunnels as highly important to the local economy. At the same time, 63 percent believe the government is not doing enough to maintain them.
When it comes to paying for improvements to roads, bridges, and tunnels, few are OK with the state raising more money. Instead, 83 percent believe legislators should do a better job spending what they already have.