Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assemblyman Hal Wirths (all R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) welcomed Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) and other top department staff on a tour this week to review several transportation projects in the 24th Legislative District.
Left to Right in Blairstown: Assemblyman Hal Wirths; DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; Senator Steve Oroho; DOT Deputy Commissioner Joe Bertoni; Helen Carew, District 24 Office; Jeff Spatola, District 24 Office; Jay Imenez, DOT Commissioner’s Chief of Staff; Zenobia Fields, Director of Government & Community Relations for DOT; Blairstown Township Mayor Stephen Lance. (SenateNJ.com)
“We were pleased to have the commissioner and key staff come up to the district to see firsthand some of the local road projects that require the State’s attention and assistance,” said Oroho. “Having top-level DOT representatives on-site to see the actual roads and the conditions, and be able to speak to local officials, helps in the planning and the resolution of these projects.”
The specific projects that were visited included:
- Route 23 Road Project (Holland Mountain Road, Beaver Lake Road, Laceytown Road), Hardyston Township;
- Route 23 over Branch of Wallkill River, Wantage;
- Route 206, Pines Road to River Road – Milling/Repaving (Branchville, Frankford, Sandyston, Montague);
- Route 15 Corridor – Signalization/Traffic Improvements, Sparta;
- Route 206 Culvert Replacement under RR Bridge, Andover Borough; and
- Route 94 over Paulins Kill Project, Blairstown.
“As a more rural district, we have a huge network of roadways that require continual maintenance and repair, so it is important that we get the assistance from the State that is needed,” said Space. “As the State representatives for this area, it is incumbent upon us to make that need known.”
“We represent areas where the population has some of the longest job commutes, so a viable and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is vital,” added Wirths. “It almost goes without saying that roads that are in good repair and well-kept also improve the safety of the motoring public and save on a car’s wear-and-tear. So we will continue to press for action and advocate for the needs of our district.”
While the district tour concentrated on State-operated roadways, the legislators talked about the needs in local communities as well. One of the key components of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) reauthorization was the doubling of local transportation aid to counties and municipalities to fund more projects and help ease the property tax burden.
“By increasing the share of the TTF that is dedicated to supporting local projects, from 10 percent to 20 percent of the TTF funding each year, we are helping towns and counties fix more roads and bridges without local property taxpayers having to bear the full cost,” said Oroho.
Left to Right in Hardyston Twp.: Senator Steve Oroho; Assemblyman Hal Wirths; Louis Crescitelli, District 24 Office; Jeff Spatola, District 24 Office; DOT Deputy Commissioner Joe Bertoni; DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; Carrine Piccolo-Kaufer, Hardyston Township Manager. (SenateNJ.com)
Left to Right in Wantage Twp.: Assemblyman Parker Space; Senator Steve Oroho; DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; Assemblyman Hal Wirths; Zenobia Fields, Director of Government & Community Relations for DOT; Helen Carew, District 24 Office. (SenateNJ.com)
Left to Right in Wantage Twp.: First Row, Jay Imenez, DOT Commissioner’s Chief of Staff; Assemblyman Parker Space; Wantage Twp. Mayor Ron Bassani; DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; DOT Deputy Commissioner Joe Bertoni; Second Row, Senator Steve Oroho; Assemblyman Hal Wirths. (SenateNJ.com)