New Jersey’s Bridge to Nowhere Arises in That Congested Supercenter Known as Cape May County

Every month there seems to be another spending scandal emerging out of the Christie Administration, or some other level or branch of the State Government. Well, this one can’t be pinned on the governor (I think), but it is equally as scandalous and irresponsible. Today the Star-Ledger reported that the State is spending $125 million on the construction of a parallel roadway to the Garden State Parkway at the end of Cape May. The roadway is aimed at either replacing or supplementing the existing roadway, which is multi-lane but has three traffic lights.

I’m a frequent Shore visitor, and have been to Cape May County several times this summer. I’ve seen this construction and have driven on the present portion of the Garden State Parkway on many occasions, in light traffic and heavy, at all hours of the day and night. And if there was ever a piece of construction that was absolutely not necessary, it is this one.

In a time where our state’s infrastructure, from our school buildings to our existing roadways are fragmenting and deteriorating before our eyes, where the Hudson River audibly groans each morning under the weight of commuter traffic, where NJ Transit fares soar, this parallel roadway ought to provoke outrage. It’s a no brainer. It’s New Jersey’s equivalent of the Bridge to Nowhere, but worse, because there’s already a bridge, it just has some traffic lights.

I’m sure the Turnpike Authority, which runs the Garden State Parkway, can produce road studies and the like that would probably back up the notion that this parallel roadway is the modern-day counterpart to the cure for cancer, but this just laughable. It’s an embarrassingly wasteful, misdirected way to spend a titanic fortune of taxpayer funds.

Yes, I understand that perhaps these funds were already in possession of the Turnpike Authority, and that it may or may not have been also been raised through toll fares and the like. But that really doesn’t matter, because in the end it’s all the state’s money.

What am I calling for? Really, not much at this point except to express my sadness over this. I mean, we can’t tear it up; hell, it would probably cost as much money to demolish it as it did to build it – or even more. But it stands as a concrete (no pun intended) example of how completely mismanaged our state is in terms of its spending and infrastructure.  

Comments (3)

  1. firstamend07

    Infrastructure spending in Cape May County has been non-existent for decades.As someone who drives down there two or three times a year you are extremely unqualified to comment on the need for that project.

    It was needed.

    There are a lot of things to complain about in this state. It is very unfair for you to attack this needed project.

    Reply
  2. marshwren

    because of the state’s refusal to provide passenger rail service to the region:  that’s why the medial strip of Rt. 55 exists–it’s where the train tracks were supposed to go, as per the original legislation.  The problem is, 50 yrs. later, we have about 50% of the highway and 0% of the train.

    All thus it is that all highway projects in Cape and Atlantic Counties designed to deal with “shore traffic” are only making the problem worse:  every year it keeps trying to squeeze more people in larger vehicles into a finite space that may actually be shrinking with increased development.  And it’s only needed 3-5 months of the year. While refusing to provide any public transit alternative.

    This project sounds like just another quick-fix, white-elephant bone thrown to Sweeney’s favorite unions–unnecessary, short-term, and  most of all short-sighted.  A full-bore, state-wide train program would be decades of work (ARC, anyone?) that put tens of thousands to work in all 21 counties, dumps tens of billions into local economies, grows retail sales and tax revenues, and takes cars off the road (relieves congestion/grid-lock; fewer emissions; less road-rage; preserves more open space).

    Reply
  3. firstamend07

    Rt.55? What does that have to do with anything?

    The project will help with congestion and safety.

    Things must be good if this is all you have to complain about.

    Reply

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