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.