What’s Happening Today Thu. 10/24/2013

Our Deteriorating Infrastructure: Two bridges less than a mile from me which I use many times each week are in serious disrepair. Gov. Christie’s concern for and funding of State infrastructure projects is a big problem today and growing more dire as time progresses. “The 113-year-old Midtown Bridge, a heavily traveled link across the Hackensack River between Bogota and Hackensack, has been shut down because of structural issues, authorities said Tuesday.” Last year a state review found “The 41-year-old Anderson bridge between Teaneck and Hackensack required significant repairs, prompting Bergen County officials to lower the allowed weight limit and forcing eleven bus routes serving about 2,000 riders to be detoured indefinitely off the bridge.” Needed repair has not been started.

Barbara Buono on her website emphasizes she “has  been a strong supporter of the ARC project and understands the value of investing in our infrastructure to make our workers and our businesses more competitive.” Below is what Tri-State Transportation Campaign in an October report says about Christie’s new budget:

“The analysis  shows that NJDOT is moving further away from a “fix-it-first” approach despite the deteriorating conditions of its existing road and bridge infrastructure … 10 percent of its bridges and 41 percent of its highway pavements are not in acceptable condition…The State plans on investing 25 percent of the Capital Program’s dollars on projects that repair or preserve the State’s existing roads and bridges, down from nearly 30 percent in the 2013 Capital Program.”

Environmental groups at 12:00 noon will hold a news conference to release a Superstorm Sandy recovery scorecard, grading recovery efforts at the federal and state levels, and identifying what needs to be done, at the Statehouse’s Room 109, Trenton. In the meantime the Senate and Assembly joint environmental committees have held four Sandy hearings across the state. Gov. Christie has done a masterful job of portraying his super-human actions related to the storm, but when it comes to answering hard questions he stonewalls. Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-29), co-chair of the hearings, on NJTV last night said that Richard Constable, DCA Commissioner, and Mark Ferzan, tasked by the Governor to oversee and coordinate Sandy recovery efforts, were asked to testify at the hearings but refused to attend any of them.

What’s Happening in your District? NJ Spotlight provides a brief overview of the legislative races in each district. Go here.


Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 11:45am, Middlesex County Retired Educators Association Luncheon, East Brunswick Chateau, 678 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 10:00am, campaign stop with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Caldwell Fire Department, Caldwell;  11:30am, announcement about business tax savings, Vac-U-Max headquarters, Belleville.

NJPIRG Law & Policy : 10am, with Sens. Sandra Cunningham and Robert Singer, conference call to release a report about which private student-loan lenders generated the most complaints from borrowers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Open thread: Add an event taking place today of interest to our readers, or email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

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