Monday, April 30, 2012

NJ Turnpike – “Savior of the Industry”

A recent meeting about the New Jersey Turnpike’s widening projects and related work was called  “Savior of the Industry.”  That’s a good indication of how bad things are in the construction industry – and how important infrastructure investment is for helping the ailing economy!
The Turnpike Authority is spending $350 million on this program over the next few years, and it has no doubt been a life-saver for many of the construction and engineering firms in the state.  Admittedly these projects have been controversial, and some people would have chosen other projects to spend $350 million on.  But the point is that this infrastructure investment has been a huge tonic to New Jersey’s economy, while buying its citizens a massive piece of infrastructure at bargain prices. 
The shame is that this kind of investment in major transportation infrastructure is not happening all over America.
The Turnpike meeting, by the way, was sponsored by the NewJersey Alliance for Action.  If you’re not familiar with the Alliance, they are a non-profit, nonpartisan coalition of business, labor, professional, academic, and government leaders that advocates investment in infrastructure in the state.  There are similar groups in other states, but I’m not aware of any that has the prestige and credibility that NJAFA brings to the public forum.  

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