Senator Nicholas Sacco, D-Hudson, speaks with a colleague on the Senate floor regarding legislation being voted on.

19 Sep: Sacco Introduces Bill To Hold Public Utilities Liable For Cost Overruns Caused In Road Construction Projects

TRENTON – Senator Nicholas J. Sacco, the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, will formally introduce legislation tomorrow which would require public utility companies and the State Department of Transportation (DOT) to work collaboratively to develop a plan to relocate utility equipment and facilities to accommodate a road construction project. The bill would hold public utilities liable if they fail to meet the construction schedule laid out for equipment relocation, causing cost-overruns in the transportation improvement project.

“Whenever a public agency engages in a transportation infrastructure project, there are significant costs associated with the relocation of utility facilities and equipment,” said Senator Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen. “While I think it’s appropriate that the cost of relocating that equipment is borne by the agency completing the road project, the utility company should be held responsible if the project is delayed as a result of its failure to provide support in a timely manner, causing cost overruns in the construction budget. This bill creates some fairness when public utility infrastructure has to be moved on account of a road construction project, and it creates a mechanism to save taxpayer and transportation dollars should the project costs increase as a result of the utility’s failure to act quickly.”