Possible Highway Envy in South Jersey [AUDIO]
As the first phase of a major Garden State Parkway widening project nears completion through Ocean County, concerns are being raised about a roadway that runs parallel.
Shore-area Assemblyman Brian Rumpf said he's hearing complaints from constituents that U.S. Route 9 has been ignored south of Long Beach Island. However, Rumpf said the roadway undergoes a major overall every decade or so.
"Given the present condition of the roadway, with all the patches and all of the harsh winter's we've endured, I would venture to say we are likely at the end of its useful life."
Rumpf said he's seeking specifics from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) about the scheduling of a major road resurfacing project along the highway, but he said don't expect Route 9 to undergo widening anytime soon.
"Right now as we know, it is a two-lane roadway, basically south of Toms River. It's not anticipated that it's going to change at any point in the foreseeable future," Rumpf said.
That leads to concerns about using the highway as an emergency evacuation route in the event the parkway is temporarily shuttered.
"Unfortunately, Route 9 as an emergency access or egress point is woefully deficient, and becomes a stand-still on those occasions when the parkway has had to be closed for an accident or otherwise," Rumpf said.