Why are road, bridge and transit projects so expensive in NJ? Sen. Mike Doherty wants answers

Mike Doherty

Why do roads, bridges and transit projects cost so much to build in New Jersey? State Senator Michael Doherty, R-Warren, has proposed a bill to try and answer that question and recommend ways to cut those costs. His bill to form a State Transportation Analysis Task Force will attempt to answer findings in a recent Reason…

Posted: March 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

9 Comments on “Why are road, bridge and transit projects so expensive in NJ? Sen. Mike Doherty wants answers”

  1. Gene B said at 9:06 am on March 7th, 2015:

    I am surprised that there is no ongoing cost analysis within the state. Private companies would go out of business quickly if they did not continuously analyze their costs and constantly seek methods to improve the efficiency of their expenses.

  2. Bravo Mike Doherty! said at 9:06 am on March 7th, 2015:

    Mike is the ONLY Republican senator who has stated he will stand by his original vote for reform at the Port Authority, by voting to override Christie’s veto.

    The bill, sponsored by Monmouth County’s Amy Handlin, seeks to bring transparency and accountability to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This bill was introduced as a result of Bridgegate, and the disgusting exposure of other disgusting revelations thrust upon the people of New Jersey by Chris Christie. These include making up six-figure salaries for unqualified high school friends (David Wildstein) and having 5-year built in toll/fare increases at Hudson River crossings and PATH subway fares.

    Where the hell are you Senators Kyrillos, Beck, Thompson, and Singer??? Your failure to speak about this injustice speaks volumes. It tells me you guys support Christie, who in turn supports corruption, non-transparency, and patronage appointments.

    Oh wait, didn’t Jennifer Beck have one of her office workers appointed to the Port Authority??? The one who lacks the qualifications for his job??? Hmmmmm, now I see why!

  3. Rich Pezzullo said at 9:29 am on March 7th, 2015:

    Senator Mike Doherty has been in the New Jersey State Legislature since 2002. He joined the Assembly after sitting on and presiding over a Freeholder board which managed the roads in Warren county .
    He asks a good question – “Before we let Statehouse politicians reach into the pockets of taxpayers yet again, shouldn’t we demand that we first find out why we spend so much more for our highways than every other state?”

    It’s a remarkable question – and one that has gone unasked by for over a decade as he and his fellow Statehouse Politicians have run the state into debt AND disrepair.

    Rather than asking questions for which he as a watchdog for the taxpayer should have answers already – he should be acknowledging his lack of oversight and apologizing to the taxpayers for letting this get so out of hand – and then promising renewed commitment to fixing the problem.

    His question represents an epiphany that, frankly, should be written into the job description of every person seeking office in New Jersey – “Until we determine exactly why we spend more than every other state, it will be impossible to lower our costs or make informed decisions about how much funding is really needed to complete important transportation projects at a cost reasonable to New Jersey taxpayers.”
    This is nothing short of a full admission by the Senator that he and his compatriots, operating without knowing why we spend more than every other state, have been unable FOR DECADES to lower costs and have been making UNINFORMED decisions about funding transportation.

    In Doherty’s case – that lack of knowledge must trace back to 2002. For others the period of time that they spent, borrowed and taxed in a total information vacuum traces back for scores of years!

    It’s time to hold them to account at the polls, not let them engage in more blue-ribbon navel gazing.

  4. Here's two reasons: said at 11:09 am on March 7th, 2015:

    high prevailing wages and union domination of public projects, and being way over- regulated,in both procurement rules and environmental demands- for starters.. welcome to NJ- never gonna change..

  5. Steve Adams said at 12:28 pm on March 7th, 2015:

    Other states don’t force public projects to use $100 per hour union labor. Government is supposed to act in the best interest of the citizens. Instead it often acts in the best interest of the special interests.

    If the union labor requirements and prevailing wage regulations were removed we could fund twice as many projects and put twice the number of unemployed worker back to work. That would creat more taxpayers and reduce the number that are a burden on taxpayers too.

  6. Jim Granelli said at 1:12 pm on March 7th, 2015:

    Does anyone have the answer as to if NJ became a “Right To Work” State, would it impact the cost of these projects.

    I also seem to remember that George Harms Construction may be non union and delivers some of the best work at the lowest bids.

  7. They get said at 8:50 am on March 8th, 2015:

    some of their workers from Union shops/halls, and if it’s federally or state- funded, they’d better pay required wages.. pinion reps often visit public work projects to check it out..they may be low bidder and may do decent work, but the reg’s have to be followed- and, don’t forget, most projects wind up with construction change directives and change orders, which usually wind up in increased costs, sometimes outrageously so.

  8. Steve Adams said at 1:50 pm on March 8th, 2015:

    If NJ became a “Right to Work” state, that would reduce the funding available to unions that are mostly buying influence with lawmakers to protect their special interests over the interests of the taxpayers.

    A simple way to understand how the unions have bought influence with lawmakers is to understand that every government funded construction project has a requirement that the taxpayers pay way above fair market value for the workers being paid by the taxpayers. This increases every project by 25% to 50%.

    Our Monmouth County Freeholders government uses the same policy. In fact, they go further by requiring a “union labor agreement” that forces bidders to go beyond “prevailing wage” requirements and increases taxpayers costs even further.

    Who’s interest are they serving?

  9. It's called said at 1:55 pm on March 9th, 2015:

    a “project labor agreement,” and they are not part of every county project: some of the language in them refers to how any disagreements would be arbitrated and resolved, so as not to stop all work, and delay/prolong the project any longer.. again, funding types/sources often dictate the various rules and language that must be used in public work projects..also: most of the dreaded “six-figure” county employees who work on these things, actually work quite diligently to do the right thing, give accurate estimates, and manage the projects, timely and efficiently..,it is true that the politicians curry favor with and from the unions in this state: and, btw, every state/county worker who also belongs to a public workers’ union, nearly always receives letters/fliers from their union “leadership,” asking them to vote DEMOCRAT, all levels, in every election.. so, what Wisconsin is trying to do, may have some positive effect in NJ, though I would NOT hold my breath waiting for that to happen, here..