TOMS RIVER-Congressman Andy Kim today issued a frightening and alarming warning for motorists in New Jersey. He said regardless of your destination, chances are you will drive over a bridge, endangering your family. The government of the State of New Jersey, according to Kim, is not fixing the deficienct bridges, so he’s asking Congress for a bailout for the Murphy administration.
“If you’re reading this in the morning, you might be getting ready to bring your kids to school, go to work, or go to a medical appointment. Regardless of your destination, you’ll probably cross over a structurally deficient bridge on your way,” Kim said as he sounded the alarm against the 544 structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 544 out of New Jersey’s 6,746 bridges are unsafe. Of those 544, only 5 are federal bridges and the rest are maintained by the State of New Jersey.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the 539 bridges Kim is talking about fall under state and local jurisdiction. There is no immediate plan in the works to make New Jersey bridges safer.
“I asked the committee in the House of Representatives that handles transportation and infrastructure to get to work on an infrastructure bill that makes our bridges safe and gives us the peace of mind we deserve,” Kim said.
As of now, Kim’s bill is in the early stages and any shovel ready projects that could be funded by this bill are still many years away. Until then, as Kim said, eavery day you will be taking your family across a structurally deficient bridge. Kim offered no immediate solution to the dire state of bridge infrastructure in New Jersey. Kim did not say whether or not his federal bill would allocate money for non-federally funded bridges.