SOMERVILLE - When New Jersey lawmakers failed to come up with a plan to replenish the state’s nearly empty transportation trust fund, Gov. Chris Christie ordered that the Department of Transportation come up with a list of state-funded projects that can be delayed.
The governor said he wanted to make sure that what little funds remained were used for emergency road repairs. As a result, hundreds of projects that were slated to begin will be delayed.
Some New Jersey residents now say that some of these projects were essential and say that they fear for their safety.
Homeowners along Bell Avenue in Somerville say the road is torn up and full of sharp gravel.
"People speeding down the street, the gravel flies and somebody is going to get hurt,” says Somerville resident Grant Holder.
Neighbor Jack Agins says that the large potholes in the street make it difficult to park. He says he’s also worried about the gravel.
“That’s another reason why we don't park here. You don't want your car pelted with little stones or what not in the road,” he says.
Their road was in the middle of being repaved when the work stoppage order came through.
Lawmakers were considering a plan to raise New Jersey’s gas tax by 23 cents. The plan also included a 1 percent sales tax decrease. The Assembly voted to approve the plan, with Gov. Christie’s endorsement. However, the state Senate failed to vote on the plan because they said the decreased sales tax would cause a deficit in the state budget.
The Somerville residents say they just want the political fighting to end and for the work to resume.
“I’d pay 23 cents a gallon to get this mess fixed,” says resident Barbara Agins.
The neighbors say that they are now planning on reaching out to their state officials about their road issue.