Farmingdale – Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA) Executive Director David Rible issued the following statement today as National Infrastructure Week begins:
“In years past, the goals and hopes around Infrastructure Week were constantly hamstrung by lack of funding. The dollars simply were not there to do and accomplish what needed to be done here in New Jersey. Funding is available to make remarkable progress in our state’s infrastructure. We just need the will to act.
“Let’s start with an undeniable fact: New Jersey’s infrastructure has long been crumbling. Our roads, bridges, rail and water infrastructure have been in need of serious improvements for some time. We’ve made progress over the last few years, thanks to a bipartisan, intensive effort to properly fund the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). There is more work that lies ahead though. Projects across the state are shovel ready. They can move into the construction phase tomorrow. It’s time to get those projects moving.
“Water infrastructure, which was long ignored, has now became a high priority for communities all over New Jersey. The work done in Newark – which was completed by UTCA member contractors, subcontractors and our partners in labor – shows that with proper funding and leadership, progress is possible. We can create generational change right now by effectively utilizing the significant federal funds currently available. We may never see a moment like this again. That’s why we have to act now.
“Lastly, progress has been made and more can be achieved. But without question, rolling back the gas tax – either at the state or federal level – will do immense damage. We know, as noted by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), that gas prices are generally set due to the refining and distribution of oil. A gas tax holiday would siphon away badly needed dollars to fund the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It would be bad, backwards policy that is more gimmick than actual relief.
“Infrastructure Week is about highlighting what’s needed and what’s possible. We have known for a long time what’s needed in New Jersey. The question was, based on funding restrictions, what was possible. That is not a question anymore. With TTF funding and federal dollars rolling into our state, we know what’s possible. We can create thousands of jobs, repair our roads, bridges and rails and rebuild our water infrastructure to benefit generations of New Jerseyans. It’s all in place. Now, we just need the will to act.”
UTCA of New Jersey is a non-profit trade association headquartered in Wall, New Jersey. UTCA represents approximately 1,000 member firms in the public and private sectors, active in all phases of heavy, highway, utility, and marine construction, as well as site work including remediation of brownfields and contaminated sites. For more information, log on to http://www.utcanj.org and follow on Twitter @UTCANJ.