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      New Jersey Receives Grade of “D+” in Infrastructure Report Card

      June 16, 2016

      Trenton, N.J. - The New Jersey Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers today released the 2016 Report Card for New Jersey's Infrastructure , grading 13 categories of the state's infrastructure, resulting in an overall grade point average of "D+." The categories evaluated in the report include bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, levees, parks & recreation, ports, rail, roads, solid waste, transit, and wastewater. The grades ranged from the highest grade of "B-" for solid waste to the grade of "D-" for both transit and levees. This Report Card is an update from a 2007 report that have the state's infrastructure a G.P.A. of "C-" across seven categories. 

      The 2016 Report Card for New Jersey's Infrastructure finds that there is a significant backlog of needs to improve the state's infrastructure and to address them effectively policy changes are necessary. For example, the state's Transportation Trust Fund will be insolvent-only able to pay debt but not make investments in new projects-by July 1 unless the state legislature acts. 

      "Making forward thinking decisions to invest in our infrastructure sets New Jersey up for continued economic success, said Luis Barragan, P.E., Co-Chair, Report Card for New Jersey's Infrastructure.  "If our elected officials do not make the investment in our infrastructure, then we risk of it falling further into disrepair. Our state lawmakers have the opportunity to put us on a better path by fixing New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund before the end of June." 

      Among the Report Card's findings for surface transportation categories:  

      • Of New Jersey's 39,000 miles of roadways owned by the state, county and municipal governments and toll authority's jurisdictions, 42% of New Jersey's roadway system is deficient, meaning it is rough, distressed or cracked.
      • Driving on rough roads is costing the average New Jersey driver $1,951 each year due to their deficient condition.
      • Many of the highways in New Jersey were built in the 1950s, with a maximum life of about 50 years many are reaching the end of their useful life.
      • The average age of New Jersey's bridges is 51 years, and 1 in 11 (8.7%) are classified as "structurally deficient," meaning they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement. These bridges are monitored closely to ensure public safety. If necessary, a bridge will be closed before it becomes a hazard to public safety. 
      • New Jersey's 1,000 miles of rail freight lines move nearly 38 million tons of goods each year in and out of local ports.
      • New Jersey's extensive transit system is served by approximately 11% of commuters-second only to New York in the percentage of commuters who ride transit. However there is a lack of dedicated funding for the capital investment and operation & maintenance costs.

      "Unfortunately the Transportation Trust Fund has reached a crisis point. Because our transportation network plays an integral role in the daily lives of businesses and individuals across our state, we as lawmakers need to find compromise which ensures that New Jersey can continue to invest in our infrastructure for our residents and our economy," said New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald.

      Also of note in the report:

      • New Jersey's seaports bring in $1.6 billion of revenue to the state. The port terminals in North Jersey generate nearly 22,000 truck movements each day, and that is projected to grow to up to 62,000 by 2026.
      • New Jersey's water supply systems were constructed largely during peak periods of development, primarily from 1890 to 1930 when major cities grew, and from 1950 to 1970 to provide clean water across the state, but the ability of these systems to provide adequate services is threatened by age, lack of reinvestment, and a short-term focus.
      • New Jersey residents generate almost three times as much waste as the national average, with each person creating about 12.5 pounds per day. Yet, recycling rates are among the highest in the nation with approximately 54% of the waste generated diverted to recycling versus a national average of 34.5% in 2012.

      Among the recommendations to raise the grades are to address the following issues:

      • Fix the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund with a long-term, sustainable funding solution by the July 1 deadline.
      • As New Jersey rebuilds its infrastructure, continue to make it more resilient as a way to invest in the future.
      • Make informed, strategic decisions regarding our infrastructure investment, to ensure limited funds are put to the best use.

      A team of professional civil engineers and professors from across New Jersey assessed the 13 categories of infrastructure to reach the cumulative grade of "D+." The categories include Bridges (D+), Dams (D), Drinking Water (C), Energy (C+), Hazardous Waste (C),  Levees (D-), Parks (D+), Ports (C), Rail (C), Roads (D+), Solid Waste (B-), Wastewater (D) and Transit (D-). 

      The New Jersey Report Card was created as a public service to citizens and politicians of the state to inform them of the infrastructure needs in their community. By using school report card letter grades, civil engineers have used their expertise to condense complicated data into an easy-to-understand analysis. 

      ASCE State Infrastructure Report Cards are modeled after the national Report Card for America's Infrastructure , which gave America's infrastructure a grade of D+ in 2013. 

      To view the full report, visit http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/nj

      Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE's 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, graded America's cumulative GPA for infrastructure at a D+. The Report Card app for Apple and Android devices includes videos, interactive maps and info-graphics that tell the story behind the grades, as well as key facts for all 50 states.

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