The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has announced there will be no tolls at Garden State Parkway , representatives of the Ninth Legislative District said on Wednesday, June 20.
The Authority also said $30 million will be invested to build a full Interchange 41 at Jimmie Leeds Road and to complete the partial Interchange 44 at Pomona Road, and The Authority plans to hold a public hearing in Galloway Township this summer on the Interchanges 41 and 44 projects.
No specific timeline for this meeting was given.
“Certainly, we were elated to receive confirmation from the Authority that there would be no toll plazas at either Interchange 41 or 44,” the District 9 legislators stated in a release. “That said, we never believed there was any permanent plan in place for tolls, as we had discussed the Interchange improvement project with Authority officials on several occasions over the past several months.”
Senator Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove worked with Galloway Mayor Don Purdy and Atlantic County Freeholder Alex Marino after residents questioned Gov. Chris Christie about the possibility of tolls at those interchanges during a meeting last week.
The legislators drafted a letter to the Authority, and in its response, the Authority explained how Interchange 41 would be designed.
According to the Authority, the planned Interchange will allow residents to enter and exit the Parkway directly from Jimmie Leeds Road and in both northbound and southbound directions, the legislators said.
The Authority also explained that once the Exit 41 Interchange is completed, the Authority close the service road that now provides those traveling on Jimmie Leeds Road access to the service area from Jimmie Leeds Road, the legislators said. Residents will be able to access the service area by entering the northbound Parkway by way of the White Horse Pike.
According to the Authority, new traffic signals will be installed, meaning the existing traffic signal will have to be removed, as state law doesn't allow traffic signals to be that close in proximity. The removal of the signal and the increased traffic on Jimmie Leeds Road means it will be dangerous to turn into the service area, the Authority said.
"Even if the Authority were not planning to build a new at the service area, the Authority would have to close the service road to motorists," the Authority said in its response.
“Regarding access to the service area at the Interchange 41, our Delegation will continue to work with local officials and the Authority to see if any modification can be made to existing plans that would allow for local residents to access the service area from Jimmie Leeds Road,“ the legislators said.