TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) criticized Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision to freeze $500,000 in funding for the Route 206 Large Truck Bypass in a critically-needed public safety project in Hillsborough.

Until recently, the Governor’s own State Department of Transportation had been publicizing details of the construction online.

Bateman released the following statement:

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“Governor Murphy should not be playing politics with taxpayer money, particularly funding that impacts our ability to keep people safe,” Bateman said.

“Traffic on Route 206 is a nightmare. That’s why we’ve been trying to get the large truck bypass up and running for decades and recently, we reached the final phase.

“The Governor’s decision will have an enormous impact on public safety and quality of life. Without the funding, we won’t be able to complete this project, and our residents will continue to be put in harm’s way.

“Route 206 is one of the most heavily-traveled roads in Central Jersey. Creating a bypass to allow giant trucks to travel around Hillsborough, instead of through the town, is just commonsense. I wish we could have gotten it done sooner, but the fact is, we can’t wait any longer.

“It’s time for the Governor to put his personal vendetta aside and think about what is in the best interest of the people he serves. Freezing funding for public safety projects, hospitals, and cities because you’re angry is absurd.

“I urge Governor Murphy to reconsider his decision as soon as possible. The people of Hillsborough – and the rest of the families he serves in every corner of the state – are counting on him to make the right call.”