AASHTO Journal, 19 April 2013
State transportation departments across the country have already unveiled their fiscal year 2014 and beyond budgets, many of which were released the last couple weeks.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently announced his plan to support $2.6 billion for the New Jersey Department of Transportation in his 2014 budget (in addition to another $1.2 billion set aside for NJ Transit). NJDOT would spend that funding for roadway resurfacing, rehabilitation, and preservation projects; bridge improvements; major targeted projects such as the Pulaski Skyway rehabilitation; and safety projects.
“This proposed program has been designed to deliver projects that will improve safety and mobility for New Jersey residents and visitors,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson in a statement. “The program includes funding for a range of initiatives, from major construction projects that will support economic growth for generations to come, to carefully targeted efforts that improve safety and the quality of life for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists at the community level.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn joined Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider to announce a six-year, $12.62 billion construction program aimed at improving roads and bridges while also making strong investments in public transportation. The construction plan seeks to improve 2,142 miles of highway, replace or rehabilitate 517 bridges across the state, and make investments in rail and airports.
“These projects will make our entire transportation system safer, easier, more efficient, and ready to accommodate our current and future needs,” Schneider said. “But they come with another benefit—the fact that we will employ thousands of Illinois men and women, and support numerous Illinois businesses, while construction is underway.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer released their own three-year proposal for transportation, which calls for about $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments. Tennessee’s funding approach, however, is different from many states in that it follows a “pay as you go” system, never accruing debt for transportation projects. This plan stresses funding for interstate system improvements, improved access to certain communities, and a focus on Intelligent Transportation Systems (through more cameras and dynamic message signs).
“This multimodal program is responsive to the needs of communities across the state and also dedicates important funding to maintaining our infrastructure through our resurfacing and bridge programs,” Schroer said.