As part of his ongoing strategy to stimulate the New Jersey economy and create jobs in the state, Gov. Jon S. Corzine released a statewide plan to move forward on $2.8 billion in transportation projects, supporting or creating an estimated 26,000 jobs.
“If we are going to provide relief from the national recession, we need to keep New Jerseyans working and keep local economies strong,” Corzine said. “We need boots on the ground. We need shovels in the dirt. These are the projects we need to get under way to help bridge the recession while providing the long-term benefits of an improved transportation infrastructure.”
Job creation through acceleration of previously planned public works projects is a key component of Corzine’s economic stimulus and recovery initiative, announced in October. All department heads, particularly the commissioners and directors of the Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, Toll Authorities, Schools Development Authority, Board of Public Utilities, and the Department of Environmental Protection have been instructed to expedite projects currently on the drawing board, as to create and preserve New Jersey jobs in the midst of the current national recession.
In the transportation portion of the plan, New Jersey will invest $2.8 billion through December 2009 in infrastructure projects on state and interstate highways, the Atlantic City Expressway, the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and the mass transit system. Nearly $1 billion of the state’s $2.8 billion investment is either new capital allocated towards projects which were previously unfunded, or revenue allocated toward projects that have been accelerated. These projects are expected to create or support 26,000 jobs directly, but up to 45,000 positions when indirect jobs by suppliers and induced jobs from economic activity is considered.
Another $1.2 billion in transportation projects have been identified, and will be funded if federal economic stimulus assistance becomes available. Corzine released a report entitled, “Stimulating New Jersey’s Economy: A Plan to Invest in Our Infrastructure and Create Jobs,” which provides details on the initiative as well as the transportation improvement projects to be undertaken.