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Garden State Parkway

Garden State Parkway

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Garden State Parkway

Longueur:
186 pages
1 heure
Sortie:
Apr 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781439643600
Format:
Livre

Description

The Garden State Parkway has transformed the lives of New Jersey residents since opening in 1954. Spanning 173 miles from Cape May to the New York State line, it has fostered tourism to the Jersey Shore and given commuters an easier way to get to work. Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll had envisioned the impact a new highway could have on the state, and a large team of planners, engineers, and contractors made it happen. In 1952, the legislature created the New Jersey Highway Authority to ensure the funding and completion of the $330-million parkway and to self-sufficiently operate the roadway through toll revenue. Garden State Parkway shows how this iconic roadway gained its place in history and continues to combine safe transportation in a parklike setting with the scenic beauty of New Jersey.
Sortie:
Apr 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781439643600
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Images within Garden State Parkway come from the archives of the former New Jersey Highway Authority, which merged with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority in 2003. This story was created through the efforts of staff that served at both authorities and specifically of those in the Constituent Services and Engineering Departments and their professional services consultants.

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Aperçu du livre

Garden State Parkway - The New Jersey Turnpike Authority

Authority.

INTRODUCTION

The Garden State Parkway traverses New Jersey from the New York state line south to Cape May in what has been important real estate throughout history. The first inhabitants were Native Americans who have occupied the area from perhaps as early as 12,000 B.C. Early populations of Native Americans in New Jersey were small groups focused on hunting and gathering who moved with the seasons and the availability of food and raw material resources. The groups likely populated river floodplains, streams, and marshes and utilized waterways and trails for movements across the area. By around 4,000 B.C., the natural vegetation and climate in New Jersey was the same as today and the forest offered food sources, such as seeds, nuts, and game. Shellfish were abundant at the shore, and regular, seasonal movements were part of the lifeways of New Jersey’s Native American populations. The arrival of Europeans permanently altered local societies and a combination of disease, conflict, and competition for resources led to the dispersal of many of the remaining Native Americans west to the northern Susquehanna River or western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and beyond, or north into Canada.

The Swedes, Dutch, French, and English settled parts of New Jersey during the 1700s and established whaling, fishing, and oyster industries along the outer coastal plain. Villages and fortifications were built along the Delaware River as European enterprises struggled for control of the area. They built sawmills and furnaces and mined bog iron and transported their products on sand roads, creeks, and rivers via ferries and barges. Settlement was centered near resources, and waterways were the primary means to send goods to market.

During the late 1700s, pleasure travel became more prevalent, especially to the New Jersey shores. Stage roads allowed stagecoaches to travel from Camden to Tuckerton in one and a half days. By the mid-1800s, railroads opened New Jersey to more travel and industrialization as transportation became more affordable and easily available. Industrial towns and cities developed near railroad terminals as people moved there to be close to employers. With time, the cities grew big enough that employees could no longer walk to work. Soon trolleys and commuter trains transported both workers and consumers in and around cities. The workforce and consumers were becoming more mobile but still reliant upon transportation lines. Population growth was fueled by multiple waves of immigration.

After World War I, the automobile reversed the trend in which trains and trolleys created a concentration of goods, services, and workplaces at various locations. The automobile allowed for population dispersal. People could live farther from both work and resources, as they were no longer dependent upon the rails. Industries could be housed farther away from the railroad as trucks began to transport goods to consumers, resulting in the demise of trolleys and the loss of railroad dominance in commercial and passenger transportation.

However, the road network, or lack thereof, became a pressing issue. In 1919, the War Department conducted a much-publicized training exercise known as the Transcontinental Army Motor Convoy. The expedition was to travel along the route of the Lincoln Highway from Washington, DC, to San Francisco, operating as if they were traveling through enemy territory during a fictional conflict. The journey took 62 days to complete, mainly because large portions of the highway consisted of dirt roads; sections that crossed western deserts were often little more than unimproved tracks. Complicating matters, few of the participating enlisted men had any experience driving motorized vehicles. Among the military personnel was Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later champion the construction of an integrated national highway system following this experience and his observations of the German autobahns during World War II.

At the time, very few states had highway departments and roads were the primary responsibility of the local municipality or rural communities who often could not afford to build new roads. In 1921, Congress passed the Federal Highway Act, which provided funding for states with established highway departments. This gave states an incentive to create highway departments. The Federal Highway Act helped to double the number of paved roads across the country within a decade. As roads were built, automobile and truck use proliferated. However, these roads were not designed for such a dramatic increase in traffic and high load capacity truck use. Highway departments recognized that new roads designed for the increased capacity and load were needed. By World War II, many New Jersey highways transported nearly twice the amount of traffic they were designed to carry. In the urban areas, commuters jammed local roads while vying with trucks for space. In southern New Jersey, vacationers sat snarled in traffic on local roads as they attempted to reach the shore. Officials feared that resort towns would begin to die as people, exasperated by the effort to drive to the shore, decided to travel elsewhere.

In 1945, the New Jersey Legislature recognized the need to alleviate the immense overcrowding on the roadways from population increases. That year, Gov. Walter E. Edge signed legislation that authorized the Garden State Parkway project, which would be a modern facility that connected the urban areas of the north with the shore points. The Garden State Parkway was originally Route 4 and a project of the New Jersey State Highway Department. Ground broke on the Route 4 project in November 1946. Between 1946 and 1953, three short sections of Route 4 were constructed in Cape May, Ocean, Middlesex, Union, and Essex Counties, totalling a mere 22 miles. Progress was slow and limited because the state legislature was required to allocate the funds for the construction and maintenance of the roadway. The Garden State Parkway project did not receive the funding it required from the legislature and, consequently, the design, property acquisition, and construction efforts remained spotty.

From the outset of his administration, Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll (1947–1953) was concerned with the inadequacy of the road network in New Jersey. By 1952, Governor Driscoll was frustrated by a lack of progress in the project and feared that Route 4 would never be finished if it relied completely on state funds. He

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