TRENTON, NJ – It will soon cost $2 per toll on the Garden State Parkway as the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is set to raise prices on commuters once again. The cost increase was introduced in a closed-to-the-public meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic last year and will take effect on New Year’s Day.
Turnpike tolls are increasing by 3% as the authority says it needs money for infrastructure improvements. This comes as the Biden Administration signed the ‘bipartisan infrastructure bill” that will provide $1.2 million in highway and infrastructure funding.
In a few years, New Jersey should have the best-paved roads in America, right?
Don’t count on it. Promises with the Garden State Parkway have been made by the state since the road was built. Tolls were supposed to be temporary, only to pay for the construction of the road. Now, tolls are used mainly on political salaries and improvements in a state where it is the most expensive to build and maintain roads.
According to the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, it costs $200,000 per lane mile to build roads in New Jersey.
By comparison, number two ranked Massachusetts costs $145,000 per mile and most states range between $25,000 per mile to $65,000 per mile.
New Jersey roads are more expensive to build because of prevailing wage contracts, bureaucratic red tape, and environmental costs.
“States play a significant role in the construction and maintenance of the country’s roadway system. Each state employs its own approach and objectives when planning and constructing highway infrastructure, including addressing obstacles and environments unique to that state,” MEPI said.
New Jersey, one of America’s smallest states ranks third in the mileage of toll roads with 356 miles.