(The Center Square) – The White House gave New Jersey a D+ grade for the state of its infrastructure.
The report card follows President Joe Biden’s announcement of the American Jobs Plan. The more than $2 trillion initiative – what The White House terms “a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure” – ostensibly aims to improve transportation, child care, caregiving and broadband.
“For decades, infrastructure in New Jersey has suffered from a systemic lack of investment,” the report says. “The need for action is clear.”
According to the report, 502 bridges and more than 3,995 miles of highway in New Jersey are in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times in the Garden State have increased by 8.8%, and drivers pay an average of $713 annually in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair, The White House alleges.
“If you are investing heavily in things like infrastructure, climate, roads, bridges, rails, tunnels, because of our density, because of our location, because of our legacy assets, we are a disproportionate winner,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a recent news briefing. “We’re going to win relative, much more significantly relative to an average American state.
“I will say with some amount of pride we’re doing a lot of the stuff that’s embedded in that $3 trillion plan,” Murphy added. “That access to community college, access to pre-K, climate initiatives, all-time high investment in infrastructure, so for a lot of reasons, we like what the President is doing.”
The report also indicates New Jersey residents who take public transportation spend an extra 82.7% of their time commuting. It also says non-White households are twice as likely to use public transit for their commute and that nearly a quarter (22%) of trains and transit vehicles in the state are past their useful life.
The plan includes $115 billion to repair roads and bridges, $85 billion to modernize public transit and $50 billion “to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.” It would also spend $200 billion to “address the affordable housing crisis” and $400 billion “to help more people access care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.”
The White House gave neighboring New York state and Pennsylvania grades of C-minus, while Biden’s home state of Delaware received a D.