New Jersey to Shut Down Hundreds of Transportation Projects

Hundreds of projects to replace bridges, resurface roads and renovate transit stations across New Jersey will grind to a halt by Friday night, after state lawmakers failed to reach a deal last week on raising the gas tax.

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration on Wednesday released a list of projects that will be shut down, saying they would be postponed for at least seven days.

The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who was serving as the acting governor while Mr. Christie was traveling outside the state. Last week, Mr. Christie declared a state of emergency and said that nonessential transportation projects would be suspended to conserve the money left in the state’s depleted transportation trust fund.

The governor had directed the state transportation commissioner and the executive director of New Jersey Transit to submit plans for an “immediate and orderly shutdown” of most state-funded work. Projects with other sources of funding or that were deemed critical to safety were not affected.

The 50-page list of transportation projects that will be shut down includes work in every corner of the state, from Bergen County in the north to Cape May at the southern tip. The State Transportation Department’s projects totaled $775 million, and New Jersey Transit’s projects added up to $2.7 billion. The list includes work on Route 166 in Toms River, the replacement of a bridge in Mercer County and the rehabilitation of a bus garage in Paterson.

Last week, Mr. Christie, a Republican, reached a deal with the Democratic-led State Assembly to raise the gas tax by 23 cents per gallon and to lower the sales tax. But Democratic leaders in the State Senate said they could not support the legislation because it would harm the state budget.

On Wednesday, the Assembly speaker, Vincent Prieto, said the Assembly had worked hard to reach a deal and wanted to find a solution that Mr. Christie could support. He has said state lawmakers could return to Trenton next week to work on a funding agreement.

“This is an unfortunate situation that re-emphasizes the need for a transportation funding solution as soon as possible,” Mr. Prieto said of the work shutdown. “We cannot allow this to continue. Public safety and livelihoods are at risk.”

The governor’s decision to shut down projects shocked political and business leaders and prompted concerns over workers losing their jobs. State lawmakers have targeted the gas tax because it is the second lowest in the country, at 14.5 cents per gallon. Some New Jerseyans were pleased that gas prices remained low over the Fourth of July weekend, but they could soon learn that their communities will be affected by the work stoppage.

Mr. Christie, who ended his presidential campaign this year, is being vetted as a possible running mate for Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Mr. Christie’s office declined to say where the governor was on Wednesday, but local news outlets reported that he had planned to visit Italy with his wife.

On Wednesday, Stephen M. Sweeney, the Senate president, said his staff was examining several options for a transportation funding deal with Mr. Christie. Mr. Sweeney has favored legislation to phase out the estate tax in exchange for raising the gas tax, but Mr. Christie said he did not support the idea.

Mr. Sweeney, a Democrat, criticized the governor’s abrupt decision to shut down projects when the fund was not expected to run out of money until August.

“He didn’t have to do it so quickly,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We should be trying to find a solution.”

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