New Jersey law billed to aid transportation work

August 6, 2019

Keith Goble

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A new law in the Garden State is intended to improve the efficiency and costs of Transportation Trust Fund projects.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill to revise the process for the administration and oversight of Transportation Trust Fund projects that are funded with fuel tax revenue.

The gas tax and diesel tax rates were increased in 2016. The gas tax is set at 41.4 cents and the diesel rate is 48.5 cents. The tax rates provide an estimated $2 billion annually for the trust fund.

Previously S876/A2607, the new law also creates a research center in the state’s Department of Transportation to help maximize federal matching dollars for the transportation fund.

Supporters say the new law will reduce delays in planning and bidding and save money.

“This legislation will broaden the impact of trust fund spending and provide significant savings for our taxpayers well into the future,” Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, said in prepared remarks. “If we are going to improve our failing infrastructure, the state must do a better job with the (Transportation Trust Fund) money.”

The new law requires the state DOT to collaborate with counties to create a priority list of highway projects. The projects must be based on the availability of funds.

Bundling of projects funded in part or completely through Transportation Trust Fund also are permitted. Projects that are similar in size and scope could be included under a single contract, which is billed to expedite approvals, control costs and get projects moving.

“With the cost saving, we can stretch the money in the Transportation Trust Fund even farther so more improvements can be completed,” Bucco said.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.