Public Hearing on Parkway Projects from Toms River to Wall
Begins 4 p.m. Thursday in Brick Civic Plaza, Chambers Bridge Road
A stretch of the Garden State Parkway cited for frequent accidents is now slated for several improvements, and a public hearing on projects between miles 83 and 100 begins 4 p.m. tomorrow in Brick.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is hosting the public hearing, to gather public comment on the two interchange projects plus the widening of lanes between miles 83 to 100 and changes to interchange 88/89 in Brick.
Turnpike Authority spokesperson Thomas Feeney said this stretch of the parkway will focus on shoulder widening and lane improvements, part of a response to a history of serious accidents between miles 83 and 100.
All left and right shoulder and travel lanes will become 12 feet wide as a safety improvement, according to the Turnpike Authority, which lowered the speed limit from 65 to 55 miles per hour there in 2008.
While no travel lanes are being added in this stretch of the parkway north and southbound, the projects will completely overhaul interchanges 83 and 91.
Exit 83, which is currently accessible as a northbound exit putting drivers on Route 9 north, is planned to be a full interchange. That means traffic on the parkway northbound will be able to exit and enter from either direction on Route 9.
Interchange 83 access is also planned from Route 571 in Toms River, allowing drivers to get on the parkway before the intersection of Route 571 and Route 9. The project is currently underway through the Ocean County roads department.
In Toms River, the parking widening will also affect several overpasses in the north part of town. With the widened overpasses, roads such as Church and Whitty that run under the parkway will also widened, according to the plans.
Feeney said the hearing will also address clearing trees along the parkway for the projects. The parkway widening in southern Ocean and Atlantic counties to three lanes recently came under fire for the number of trees cut for the project.
“The project will necessitate the clearing of trees in the Parkway right-of-way. The Turnpike Authority will present information at the hearing about how it proposes to meet its obligation to compensate for those trees under the New Jersey No Net Loss Reforestation Act,” Feeney wrote in a prepared release.
The public hearing opens at 4 p.m. From then until 6 p.m, representatives will be on hand to discuss the projects with the public.
At 6 p.m., the official public hearing will begin with a brief presntation.
Thereafter, the public comment period will open.
The hearing is at the Brick Township Civic Plaza Gym, 270 Chambers Bridge Road in Brick.