New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Monday allocating $400 million from the state's Transportation Trust Fund for immediate road, bridge and transit projects in the current fiscal year ending June 30.
The supplemental funding, which Christie first pitched in his Feb. 28 budget address, allocates $260 million for the State Department of Transportation and $140 million for New Jersey Transit projects. The new $400 million infrastructure investment is on top of an eight-year Transportation Trust Fund authorized late last year at $1.6 billion annually through a 23 cent a gallon gas tax increase.
"Having updated roads and bridges and safe transit systems that utilize state-of-the-art technology is not only vital to protect drivers and riders but to ensure the stability and expansion of New Jersey's economy," said Christie. "This $400 million supplemental appropriation will expedite projects this year to improve the safety and state of good repair of our roads, bridges and public transit system."
Christie signed the bill at the LiUNA Local 172 Labor Hall in Trenton just hours before Moody's Investors Service downgraded the state's general obligation bonds one notch from A2 to A3 citing rising pension liabilities. New Jersey has been hit with 11 downgrades since Christie assumed office in January 2010 and has the lowest ratings of any state except Illinois.