Press Release
Senator Jennifer Beck Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11)
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Contact: Brad Schnure / (609) 847-3600
May 1, 2017
Beck: NJDOT Commissioner Confirms Existing “Data-Driven Process” Works for Prioritizing Transportation Projects

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Beck Says Unconstitutional TTF Pork Panel Will Instead Make Billions in Transportation Spending Decisions Based on Politics

During Thursday’s Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee hearing on the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s portion of the FY18 state budget, Senator Jennifer Beck questioned NJDOT Commissioner Richard Hammer on the process employed to prioritize transportation projects across New Jersey, confirming that the current analytical approach to capital planning works.

Sen. Jennifer Beck questioned NJDOT Commissioner Richard Hammer on the approach used to prioritize transportation capital projects. (SenateNJ.com)

“As Commissioner Hammer confirmed in his testimony, New Jersey’s current data-driven process for prioritizing transportation projects is a model for the nation,” said Beck. “As part of the gas tax increasing deal that I fought against, however, a four-person political panel has been given control of these important decisions regarding the allocation of billions of dollars of transportation projects. I’ve opposed this unconstitutional pork panel from the start, and I’ll keep fighting to protect the current analytical process for prioritizing our state’s transportation needs that Commissioner Hammer maintains is ‘the way it needs to be done.’”

Listen to the exchange:

Click here to download the audio clip.

Beck’s question to Commissioner Hammer:

“In the course of the conversation about the Transportation Trust Fund, there’s always a question about capital projects and capital planning. I’m wondering if you could walk through, in sort of a broad sense, how the New Jersey Department of Transportation currently prioritizes transportation needs and infrastructure projects.”

NJDOT Commissioner Hammer’s answer:

“It’s done by way of an asset management system. We have regular infrastructure inspections that go on, whether it’s pavement, whether it’s a bridge, and the data is entered into these management systems. It’s a data-driven process that tells us where we should be investing our dollars.

“The majority of what you see in our capital program is there because of data-driven decisions, and that’s the way to do it. It’s modeled after the federal highway methodology, and quite frankly, it’s looked at as a model, what New Jersey does. My hope is that we going to be able to continue that process. That’s the way it needs to be done.”

This portion of the testimony also can be heard in the official archived audio of hearing available here on the New Jersey Legislature’s website (audio streaming requires IE), beginning at the 01:46:50 mark of the 12:30 PM session on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Website Post:
http://www.senatenj.com/index.php/beck/beck-njdot-commissioner-confirms-existing-data-driven-process-works-for-prioritizing-transportation-projects/32744