Many New Jersey Bridges Are Crumbling [AUDIO]
It's a story the Townsquare News Network broke a week and a half ago - a new report confirms hundreds of Garden State bridges are decaying because they're so old, and they could pose a danger if they're not fixed.
The Transportation For America report finds 651 New Jersey bridges are structurally deficient and need to be repaired soon, otherwise they may have to be shut down.
"We are seeing an increasing number of our transportation infrastructure in need of maintenance. We're not investing in what we need to invest, therefore problems are getting worse," says the New Jersey Advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Janna Chernetz.
She says data from the Federal Highway Administration shows drivers in New Jersey are consistently putting themselves in harm's way.
"Just over 11 million drivers drive over structurally deficient bridges every day - one out of every ten bridges that New Jersey motorists cross each day are likely to be deteriorating to some degree."
So what needs to be done?
She says we need to be "keeping our infrastructure in a state of good repair, making sure that routine maintenance is done so that we don't have to do costly repairs."
Chernetz adds Tri-State has always urged that the New Jersey Department of Transportation prioritize a "fix it first" policy, meaning we take care of our existing roads and bridges first before we invest in any new roads or new infrastructure.
"We believe more money needs to be poured into maintenance and preservation of our roads and bridges."
She also points out transportation funding is an issue not only on a state level but on a federal level, since we need to find more stable and reliable ways to fund transportation.