UPDATE: Here's what New Jersey 101.5 morning show host Bill Spadea saw at this weekend's convoy

NJ freedom trucker convoy on March 5 — What Bill Spadea saw

It was a chilly Saturday night and a rainy Sunday morning but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds of vehicles participating in the New Jersey Freedom Convoy on March 5-6, 2022. Here are some pics of the event, from the crowds lining the overpasses and roadways, to the trucks to the line of vehicles heading south.

Our news article from Friday, March 4 is below.

The first part of this weekend's New Jersey trucker convoy from Mahwah could cause traffic issues Saturday afternoon as it heads to the New Egypt Speedway.

The convoy is in protest of COVID-19 vaccination mandates and restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and is inspired by the recent Canadian convoy that closed down crossings between the United States and Canada.

Hundreds of trucks are expected to make the trip, which starts in Mahwah at 10 a.m. and ends at the New Egypt Speedway and takes a toll-free route. One of the coordinators of the convoy, Morris County resident Jackie Thomas, said no blockades are going to take place

“We do not plan on doing anything that would hurt anybody. It’s peaceful. We’re just trying to put an end to some of the things that are, we feel, jeopardizing our freedom,” she said.

The convoy begins on Route 17 and heads south to Route 3. The rest of the route on Saturday:

  • Route 3 west
  • Route 46 west
  • Route 80 west
  • Route 287 south
  • Route 1 south
  • Route 295 south
  • Route 195 east to Exit 16 (Six Flags and Route 537)
  • Route 537 west to Route 539 south (Pinehurst Road) to the New Egypt Speedway
Facebook/Danielle Schumacher
Facebook/Danielle Schumacher

Convoy goes off the interstates

Traffic could get dicey as it hits Route 1, which has many traffic lights and only two lanes in each direction. The road is already crowded with shoppers between Edison, North Brunswick, South Brunswick and Lawrence Township.

"Looking at the planned route of the convoy the biggest traffic impact on Saturday afternoon could be along Route 1 southbound between Route 287 in Edison down to Route 295 in Lawrenceville and on County roads 537 and 539 near New Egypt Speedway," New Jersey 101.5 Fast Traffic's Bob Williams said.

South Brunswick Deputy Police Chief James Ryan said his officers are aware of the convoy and will be monitoring the situation with county officials and State Police.

"Sometimes Route 1 can back up on a normal day. We'll be alert for any kind of accidents but there's no precautions being taken. There's no need for us to coordinate anything at this point in time," Ryan told New Jersey 101.5.

The last part of the route takes truckers off Route 195 at Exit 6 (Route 537) in Jackson for Six Flags Great Adventure. While the Six Flags is closed Route 537 narrows to just one lane in each direction past the park.

Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy said he is working with Plumstead police chief Earl Meroney and will assign officers to assist.

"We don't anticipate any problems," Mastronadry told New Jersey 101.5.

Heavy-duty tow trucks standing by

State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan said that the state will be ready to keep traffic moving if any of the participants come to a stop.

"Moving at a slow rate of speed is something that we don't want, but coming to a complete stop offers a different scenario," Callahan said at Gov. Phil Murphy's COVID-19 briefing on Feb 23. "We are planning for a scenario where we would have heavy-duty wreckers standing by to tow them," Callahan said, "At their expense, off of our intestates."

There is a second convoy at the Salem Count Fairgrounds Sunday off Route 40. Some participants will be continuing to a rally in Washington. The convoy website said it is not connected to any other convoy headed to Washington.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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