ROADS/BRIDGES: N.J. governor issues executive order to fund critical transportation projects

Aug. 18, 2016

The order was issued as the statewide shutdown on road, bridge and transit projects continues

With lawmakers in New Jersey at an impasse over transportation funding, Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday ordered officials to use the state’s general fund to pay for “essential” transportation projects until the crisis is resolved.

In an executive order, Mr. Christie said the state’s Transportation Trust Fund was “days away” from running out of money. He ordered officials to use supplemental funding only for projects that were critical to residents’ safety or that were necessary to secure federal funding.

At the end of June, Mr. Christie declared a state of emergency and halted most transportation work across the state. He blamed lawmakers for failing to reach an agreement over how to replenish the fund, which pays for road, bridge and mass transit projects.

Mr. Christie, a Republican, had reached a deal with Democratic leaders in the State Assembly to increase the gas tax by 23 cents per gallon while lowering the sales tax by one percentage point, but Democratic leaders in the State Senate said the agreement would harm the state budget. Senate leaders have favored a second proposal to raise the gas tax and phase out the estate tax.

The list of stalled work includes hundreds of projects worth more than $3 billion.