HACKENSACK — New Jersey is set to receive more than $12 billion over the next five years from the bipartisan infrastructure law. Part of that money will go toward the Anderson Street Bridge in Hackensack, which has been considered structurally deficient for nearly a decade.
The Anderson Street Bridge’s problems are not new. In September 2012, Bergen County officials placed a 15-ton weight limit on the bridge, meaning NJ Transit buses have not been allowed over it in over nine years. Concrete barricades now block off the outermost lanes of what at one point was a four-lane bridge connecting Teaneck and Hackensack.
“We’re barely lucky to get two lanes coming across,” Bergen County Commissioner Tom Sullivan said at a Tuesday press conference.
Sullivan spoke along with Rep. Josh Gottheimer and other county and local officials Tuesday morning on the side of the bridge that connects Bergen’s two most-populous municipalities. Gottheimer touted the infrastructure legislation as being crucial to the bridge’s forthcoming repairs.
“It’s a historic, once-in-a-century package,” Gottheimer said.
The congressman added that the nearly $8 billion from the law allocated to New Jersey for highways and bridges will go a long way toward repairing infrastructure problems that he said have been ignored for decades.
The $1.1 billion earmarked for bridges is the biggest investment since the creation of the interstate highway system more than 60 years ago, according to the White House.
The bridge is one of more than 500 statewide that are considered to be in “poor” condition by the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory. In its 2020 report, the NBI’s structural appraisal of the bridge was “intolerable; high-priority replacement.”
Gottheimer said work on the bridge, projected to cost around $40 million, will begin next year and is expected to take three years to complete.
Bergen County Commissioners Mary Amoroso, Germaine Ortiz and Sullivan all said the money from the infrastructure law is key to fixing the county bridge.
“The county does not have the money to foot the entire cost of the repair for this bridge,” Amoroso said.
The Anderson Street Bridge is one of 35 bridges in Bergen County considered to be in poor condition by the National Bridge Inventory as of 2020. Seven of those are owned by the county.
Gottheimer thanked the laborers who will be tasked with making the repairs. Michael Schneider, the president of the Bergen County Central Trades and Labor Council, hailed the project to fix the bridge.
“Projects like this make the roads of New Jersey much safer and better for everybody who travels through,” Schneider said.
The money from the law will also go toward repairing state highways. The White House has said more than 3,995 miles of highway in New Jersey are in poor condition.
Liam Quinn is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.
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