The start of construction got underway today on a project designed to improve safety by removing three traffic lights at Garden State Parkway interchanges in Cape May County. Those are the only three traffic signals on the 172-mile length of the toll road.

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno says, “Traffic lights have no place on a busy highway like the Garden State Parkway, and there has been nearly unanimous agreement that the lights at these three Cape May County intersections near the southern end of the Parkway needed to go."

The project will replace the traffic signals at three at-grade intersections with full interchanges. Bridges will be built to carry the Parkway over Shell Bay Avenue (Interchange 9), Stone Harbor Boulevard (Interchange 10) and Crest Haven Road (Interchange 11). Ramps will provide continued full access between the Parkway and the local roads at all three interchanges. Drivers on the Garden State Parkway will no longer have to stop to let local traffic pass, and drivers on the local roads will no longer have to wait at a busy intersection to get to the other side of the Parkway.

New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner Jim Simpson explains, “Three people have died in crashes at these traffic lights just since the preliminary design for this project began in 2004. It’s time to get this project done and get those traffic lights out of there.”

The traffic lights have been in place since before there even was a Garden State Parkway. They were installed when the former New Jersey Highway Department built a bypass around Cape May Courthouse in the 1940s. They remained after the bypass was incorporated into the Parkway when the toll road  opened in 1954.