Speaker Prieto: Route 3 Bridge Closing Emphasizes Need for Replenished Transportation Trust Fund

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Thursday said the closing of one of the state’s busiest bridges for emergency repair work is further evidence of the need to find a long-term revenue solution to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund.
Parts of the Route 3 East Bridge over the Hackensack River, which is traveled by about 75,000 motorists per day and serves as a vital approach to the Lincoln Tunnel, were closed by the state Department of Transportation after cracks were found in its steel support structure.
The closures caused severe traffic backups Thursday morning, costing commuters valuable time and underscoring the costs of poor infrastructure.
“The Route 3 Bridge is not the first piece of our crumbling infrastructure to fail, and if our state doesn’t do something about our transportation funding crisis soon, then it certainly won’t be the last,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), who has consistently advocated for more transportation revenue since his term as Assembly Speaker began last January. “The costs of lost productivity and aggravation for drivers over the next few weeks while emergency repairs are being conducted is the price our state is paying for its inability to solve this problem. I am hopeful that the bridge closure will at least emphasize to everyone that providing reliable transportation funding is vital for our economic interests and must be accomplished in the near future.”
The lane closures are expected to last for at least two weeks while emergency repairs are made and come on the heels of two other bridges within the state being closed for deteriorating conditions. More than 500 bridges in New Jersey are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete by the DOT, and drivers are paying up to $2,000 extra per year due to poor road infrastructure according to a recent study.