New Jersey DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti told the contractors, engineers and consultants at CIANJ’s first Transportation Summit that the “greatest opportunities” for road work projects exists in the counties and towns.
Gutierrez-Scaccetti said $240 million from the revenue generated by the 23-cent gas tax increase is earmarked for local road projects. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is working to assist the town; but the commissioner said the private sector needs to weigh in also. “This is where the greatest opportunities exist. I encourage you to go after the work. Help them put a process in place to put bids out on the street and spend it,” she said.
CIANJ President Tony Russo invited the commissioner to present the keynote address at the day-long summit, held at the A-P-A Hotel in Woodbridge. CIANJ is advocating for a transportation master plan and state Sen. Patrick Diegnan, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, said at the summit that he will sponsor legislation to create one.
“Business owners know the transportation network is the lifeblood of our economy,” the commissioner told the crowd of more than 100 business representatives at the summit. Gutierrez-Scaccetti said her department is in a “transformative period” and the goal is to restore faith in the public transit system and refocus the agency for greater responsiveness and sensitivity to the needs of our customers. She said Gov. Phil Murphy wants the department to be “forward-facing, full transparent and customer oriented.”