By Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor
New Jersey faces long-term, periodic breakdowns and degradation of its infrastructure. That’s according to a recent Facing Our Future report. It points out that years of deferred investments in utilities, roads, bridges, public transportation and water supply systems have taken a toll. And experts say these decaying systems require increased investment.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is among the groups that have been sounding the alarm on this issue for years. It issued a report last year that found 10 million motorists drive across bridges in the Philadelphia and New York City metropolitan area every day that are structurally deficient. This doesn’t mean they’re dangerous. But they are in need of repair.
“Bergen, Essex and Morris counties … we see a large number of structurally deficient bridges,” said Janna Chernetz, New Jersey advocate with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “But we’re also seeing major bridges in more rural counties such as Sussex and Warren having structurally deficient bridges.”
Age is certainly an issue. The average age of New Jersey bridges is 51. But some are older than 100. Cost estimates for repairing or replacing them are staggering but necessary say advocates. Topping the to-do list is the 80-year-old Pulaski Skyway.