Upper Township Hopes to Rally Support to Make Changes at Parkway Exit 20

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Exit 20 on the Garden State Parkway has been a concern to residents of Cape May County for years.

The Upper Township Economic Development Advisory Commission (UTEDAC), is hoping to get the ball rolling on a full interchange.

For decades residents and officials have looked to change Exit 20 on the Garden State Parkway.

“We had had a grant, a significant $100,000 grant to look at the traffic, look at the area and put these center designations in place," said Upper Township Mayor Rich Polombo. "One of the things that came out of that was the two-lane highway can’t handle the traffic, the demand.” 

“There needs to be a better evacuation route if perhaps there was a need for sudden evacuation and that was identified as a spot of critical need at Exit 20 because it wasn’t a full interchange,” said Jack Griffin, managing partner at Dompierre LLC and member of the UTEDAC.

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Right now, you’re able to get on the Parkway heading south from Exit 20 and get off the Parkway at that exit when you’re heading north.

But there’s no entrance for going north or an exit when driving south. So, officials are hoping for it to become a full interchange where people can exit and enter coming from both directions.

“There’s already a toll there so I believe that would remain a toll that if it were a full interchange — can you imagine the convenience for the people, for business to grow there?” said Griffin.

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Some believe the change would affect the economic growth of the area.

“Right now if you look at that shopping center, there aren’t as many shops, there [are] a lot of vacancies there, and I think the big problem is that the people can’t get to it in a convenient way,” said Griffin.

The UTEDAC has created petitions for everyone in the area to sign in support of a full interchange at Exit 20.

“So the petitions are being circulated and what we hope to do is show that there is a strong will to have this take place and what can be done,” said Polombo.

“It’s now up to the people to show our legislative folks and those that are elected officials that it is a desired need,” said Griffin.

Copies of the petition can be picked up at the Upper Township Municipal Building and they’re due back by June 1st.

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