In New Jersey and across the nation, many segments of transportation infrastructure are in poor condition. Far too many roads, bridges, tunnels and related fixtures are in serious disrepair or have been used far beyond the lifespan for which they were planned. The problem is particularly acute in states with older infrastructure and higher population densities. New Jersey is near the top of the list of places where roads and bridges are falling apart. According to U.S. Representative Andy Kim, there are more than 500 bridges and almost 4,000 miles of roadways throughout the state that are deficient.
Roads, bridges and tunnels are complex systems that require constant attention. Substandard infrastructure is dangerous. Sudden bridge collapses in some states have killed unsuspecting motorists. Deficient roadways are contributing factors in vehicle collisions. Hitting a deep pothole can result in the driver losing control and a pothole impact can damage the vehicle’s critical components, such as tires, wheels and steering and braking mechanisms. In some cases, accidents are a result of inoperative roadway lighting or missing road signs.
It appears that help may be coming to beleaguered motorists. The federal government is allocating funding for transportation infrastructure repairs and improvements in a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill recently signed by President Biden. New Jersey is supposed to receive $6.8 billion in federal money for road repairs and $1.1 billion for bridge repairs. However, drivers cannot expect immediate results from this funding. It takes time for projects to be approved and for funds to be allocated. Then it will take even more time to plan, contract and complete the individual projects. In the meantime, drivers must be patient and vigilant on the road.
Government agencies that have neglected transportation infrastructure are responsible for the consequences of their inaction. Federal, state or local authorities might be liable for damages caused by poor road or bridge conditions. However, the rules for making claims for damages against government authorities are complicated. There are strict time and notice requirements that motorists must meet to proceed with a claim. Anyone involved in an accident in which poor infrastructure was the cause or a contributing factor should consult a qualified auto accident attorney to best protect their rights.
Based in Ridgewood, Seigel Law has been protecting New Jersey motorists since 1976. If you were involved in any type of vehicular accident feel free to contact us online or call [ln::phone] for a free initial consultation. If road or bridge conditions were a contributing factor to the accident, please contact us immediately as there may be strict time limits for making a claim.