Galloway Township's Legislative representatives from the Ninth District called for a single meeting with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority in a letter issued Friday, Sept. 28, the delegation announced on Friday.
Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove requested a single meeting after learning that two separate meetings had been scheduled to discuss proposed interchanges 41 and 44 on the Garden State Parkway, the delegation said in a release.
The letter requested a single meeting in Galloway Township in which state, county and local officials could participate, the delegation said. The request was made after the delegation requested a meeting, and then learned that Sen. Jim Whelan had made a similar request, according to the letter.
The interchanges have been a cause for concern for township residents, who fear losing access to the Parkway at the current Atlantic City Service Station off Jimmie Leeds Road. Officials have said residents will lose access to the service station, but not the parkway.
Councilman Jim Gorman has also sparked talk of a third interchange, off Route 30. Galloway council members have expressed support for all three interchanges.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority held a Public Information Session at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in August, in which members of the public were invited to discuss the project. The two meetings were requested in the aftermath of that meeting.
The entirety of the letter from the delegation to the Turnpike Authority can be found below:
Dear Executive Director Hakim:
As you are aware, our Delegation has scheduled a meeting with the Authority for the purpose of discussing the construction of a full interchange at Garden State Parkway Exit 40 – Route 30 Connector. As explained in our previous correspondence, our Delegation initially requested the meeting following the Authority’s Public Information Center on the Exit 41 and Exit 44 improvement projects held at Stockton College on August 28, during which local residents from several municipalities conveyed strong support for a full interchange at Exit 40 as a means of alleviating traffic congestion in the area.
Subsequent to scheduling our meeting with your office, our Delegation learned that Senator Jim Whelan of the 2nd Legislative District had also requested and scheduled a meeting with the Authority to discuss the construction of a full interchange at Exit 40. Rather than hold two separate meetings, our Delegation is inquiring as to the Authority’s interest in holding a single meeting. This would afford all State, county and local officials with an active interest in this issue, the opportunity to attend and allow for a more comprehensive discussion as to how best to proceed forward with this proposal. For practical reasons, our Delegation suggests that the meeting be held in Galloway given that Exit 40 is located within the town, as is Exit 41 and Exit 44.
There is a pressing need to schedule this meeting as our Delegation agrees with the strong arguments that have been made by local residents for a full interchange at Exit 40. In sharing the interests of our constituents, we believe a full interchange at Exit 40 is needed in addition to, not as a substitution for, the improvements planned for Exit 41 and Exit 44. Full interchanges are needed at all three Exits to achieve the traffic improvements necessary in order to meet the demands on the existing infrastructure, created by the tremendous population growth in the area over the past decade, as well as to enhance the state’s evacuation system in the general area. Separately, a full interchange at Exit 40 would also serve as an engine for economic growth and stability along the Route 30 corridor.
Please advise our Delegation as to your interest in scheduling a single meeting to discuss the construction of a full interchange at Route 40. As always, our Delegation appreciates the opportunity to work directly with the Authority in serving the people of the 9th Legislative District. We look forward to your response.
CHRISTOPER J. CONNORS, Senator-9th District
BRIAN E. RUMPF- Assemblyman-9th District
DIANNE C. GOVE- Assemblywoman-9th District