Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler defies Gov. Christie order, continues roadwork

The mayor of Piscataway says that he will defy Gov. Chris Christie's order for all state-funded road work to stop due to a lack of money in the state's transportation trust fund.

Mayor Brian Wahler tells News 12 New Jersey that he owes it to his constituents to finish the project on time.

"I just view the governor now as a crazy uncle," he says. "My residents are first priority, not the crazies down in Trenton."

After state lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to replenish the trust fund, Gov. Christie ordered that all state-funded transportation projects be delayed in order to use what little money remains in the fund for emergency road work.

Mayor Wahler says that regardless of the order, construction on School Street will continue. He says that School Street is a major artery though town and connects the Rutgers campus to a major road.

People who live on the road say that it is disintegrating and needs to be repaired.

"It's a good thing that they're going to go ahead and get it done," says School Street resident Miranda Miranda. "We haven't had sidewalks here before."

"How am I going to explain to the residents out here we're having a contractor take a week and a half sabbatical? Come on, let's get real," Mayor Wahler says.

The mayor says that the School Street project is 80 percent funded by taxpayer money. The rest comes from the transportation trust fund. Wahler says he will continue the project with what funds the town has.

The governor's office in a statement tells News 12 New Jersey that anyone who defies the shutdown order will assume all associated risks.

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