Murphy says NJ roads and bridges are in ‘crisis mode,’ worst in nation
SECAUCUS — Gov.-elect Phil Murphy said Wednesday that New Jersey's roads and bridges are in a "crisis mode" that requires immediate attention and investment.
“We simply cannot get our economy back on track if our people cannot get to work. We cannot attract new businesses [...] we cannot help them get their products to market," Murphy said during a news conference at Secaucus Junction, where he announced his nomination for transportation commissioner.
“Our transportation infrastructure stands as the arteries and veins through which our state’s economic lifeblood flows, and without a fully modern and safe network of roads, bridges, tunnels and rails, New Jersey cannot compete.”
During the conference, Murphy blasted NJ Transit as a "national disgrace."
He also said repairs roads and bridges in the Garden State will be a top priority for the woman he wants leading the Department of Transportation — Diane Scaccetti, the former head of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
“Investing in our infrastructure will create jobs, good paying jobs immediately," he said. “I don’t think I can possibly overstate how important this job is or how challenging it will be, and we can’t overstate how qualified Diane is to meet these challenges.”
Murphy said New Jersey will work with the Port Authority and officials in New York on several transportation projects, including a new bus terminal and the Gateway Hudson River Rail Tunnel project
Scaccetti said as a girl growing up in Lawrence, “we never got up in the morning and thought about if our roads were going to be available to us. We just got up, got on the bus and went where we needed to go, much like all of you do today.”
She said it is essential for her as the new transportation commissioner “to continue to make sure that you never wake up and wonder if you can take the New Jersey Turnpike, or 287, or Route 130 and get to work, or to school with your children.”
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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com