New Jersey last year was once again one of the 10 worst states in the nation in the percentage of deficient bridges as more than one-third of Garden State spans are in need of attention, Federal Highway Administration statistics show.
The state counted 2,310 bridges that needed repairs, were inadequate to handle their traffic loads or did not meet current safety standards at the end of 2015. That was 34.5 percent of New Jersey’s 6,686 bridges.
Jonathon D. Salant, NJ.com
This is not a manufactured crisis, this is a tragedy waiting to happen. New Jersey has one of the oldest, most heavily travelled bridge and road networks in the country. It’s been underfunded and neglected for years, unfortunately, due to public anger over the rising cost of living and lackluster economic growth in the state.
Cynics might say, “Well sure, the construction trades want work, that’s why their pushing to repair the roads.” We get that, it’s our job. But that’s not the only reason. We live here too and our family and friends travel the same roads that you do. And in our daily work we’ve seen the decaying concrete and rusting steel up close and we know more than anyone how far gone some of these bridges are. It’s not a pretty sight.
No amount of anger or cynicism is going to repair these bridges. And no amount of “we’re sorry for your loss” is going to bring back the people unlucky enough to be on one of these deficient bridges when it fails. This is not a manufactured crisis.