ROADS/BRIDGES: N.J. transportation shutdown to cost $41 million, displace 1,700 workers in first week alone

July 11, 2016

The price tag of prolonged closures could reach $9 million per week

A new analysis finds that a week-long shutdown of New Jersey transportation improvement projects that began July 8 will cost the transportation construction industry and New Jersey taxpayers at least $41 million and displace as many as 1,700 construction workers.

As the shutdown continues, the cost could grow to as high as $1.3 million per day in lost sales, wages and economic activity throughout the state, according to American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black. Over time, the reduction in demand could impact an additional 1,500 non-construction jobs, Black says.

Gov. Chris Christie (R) called for the “orderly shutdown” of any “non-critical” transportation projects funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which is expected to run out of funds in August. Absent an agreement by the state legislature to fund the TTF, the governor’s office said it was “necessary to stop work temporarily on ongoing projects funded by the TTF by 11:59 p.m., on July 8, 2016, for a period of at least seven days.”

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has identified 904 projects valued at $650 million that are subject to the executive order. Projects that receive federal funds can continue.

In addition to immediate costs, which will be borne by the construction industry, the longer these transportation projects are delayed, the greater the negative impact will be on the rest of the state’s economy as construction workers and firms have reduced income.

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