New Jersey’s Highways Paved With Gold
On a per-mile basis, New Jersey takes in the most from taxpayers and spends the most on state-administered roadways as compared to the other forty-nine states. Maintenance spending per mile is 8 times the national average and administrative costs 9 times. Total cost per mile in New Jersey is nearly 19 times the national average.
“New Jersey's gridlocked highways, poor pavement conditions and high repair costs put the state last in overall cost-effectiveness for the eighth consecutive year” according to a newly released report on the Performance of State Highway Systems.
New Jersey has 2,906 miles of state-owned highway and receives more receipts per mile from the federal government, state-imposed fuel taxes, fees, tolls, bonds, etc. than any other state. New Jersey received an average of $2,370,630 per mile of state-administered roads as compared to a national average of $126,354. Massachusetts was second highest at $753,892 per mile
The national average for maintenance spending per mile was $19,615. New Jersey had the highest maintenance costs at $153,845 per mile. Florida was second highest with $90,410. For administrative costs per mile, the national average was $7,824 per mile - New Jersey spent the most at $68,352 per mile.
The following chart shows New Jersey’s performance rankings in 10 categories. The good news - our state had the fifth best interstate fatality rate and the best rural interstate pavement width. The bad news of course is on the high cost and relative poor condition of New Jersey’s state-administered highways, which includes the Turnpike and Parkway.
As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned. There are hundreds of millions that could be saved and therefore, earned annually without monetizing New Jersey’s toll roads. Perhaps someone could bring this to Governor Corzine’s attention.