VIDEO: Letter Written for Extension of Route 55Posted:
MILLVILLE - Route 55 stretches over 40 miles, from Deptford Township to Maurice River Township. State Senator Jeff Van Drew would like to see it stretch all the way to Cape May.
"For so many reasons, whether it’s for tourism and the terrible traffic jams that occur here,” said Van Drew.
Van Drew and Assemblyman Bob Andrjczak have written a letter to New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, asking Fox to reevaluate extending Route 55. Van Drew and Andrzejczak cite Cape May County evacuation needs as a main factor.
"Cape May County is the sixth most vulnerable county to a storm in the United States of America, particularly because we’re a peninsula, and particularly because we don’t have many ways of getting in and out,” said Drew.
Jane Morgan Galetto works for Citizens United, to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries. She said extending 55 is a complicated proposal.
“I sat on the Turnpike for four hours one day. And there’s, gosh knows, how many lanes there," said Galetto. "So, just more lanes isn’t always the answer to our problems.”
Both Van Drew and Morton Galetto say environmental concerns must be considered as well.
“At that point, there’s becoming really grave concerns, environmentally," said Galetto. "Because you have to cross three wide and scenic rivers, numerous creeks and wetlands.”
It’s been about six years since Van Drew last visited the Route 55 extension proposal. Projects like this tend to move slowly, if at all. But Van Drew is dedicated to making the extension happen.
"This isn’t going to happen tomorrow," said Van Drew. "But, too many lives have been lost, too many people have been hurt, too many traffic jams have occurred. And the potential of a hurricane or a storm, and the appropriate evacuation, it mandates that we really take a look at this again, and really think it through.”
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.