Horrific Turnpike Accident on Tuesday highlights need
for proposed connector road to NJ Turnpike Interchange 12
UNION COUNTY, NJ— In light of Tuesday’s NJ Turnpike accident that snarled the region’s traffic flow and stranded workers and truckers for hours at an industrial area in Linden, the Union County Freeholder Board has renewed its call for the construction of a connector road from New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 12 to Linden’s Tremley Point area.
The Freeholder Board is supporting a resolution up for adoption next Thursday calling upon the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to restore more than $80 million in funding to construct the long-awaited Tremley Point connector road, and immediately add it to their capital program.
The proposed connector road would provide access from the New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 12 through Carteret, over the Rahway River, and into Tremley Point in Linden. It would provide a direct link between the two neighboring counties at a location where none currently exist, garnering support from Middlesex County as well.
“The construction of the Tremley Point Connector Road is vital to the economic and public safety interests to the region as a whole and to the residents of the City of Linden, especially those who are impacted by the current truck and industrial traffic to this area,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, who is a sponsor of the resolution.
Tuesday’s horrific crash on the New Jersey Turnpike temporarily knocked out the Wood Avenue Bridge which is the main road of access to this industrial section of Tremley Point, and egregiously magnifies the importance of the proposed connector road.
As a result of the accident, workers and trucks were stranded in the Tremley Point area for hours.
“The construction of a connector road would have helped emergency management workers better access the site of the accident and ease traffic pressures,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “It is of paramount importance to move forward with the construction of the Tremley Point connector road. The Turnpike Authority would also greatly benefit from it, as Tuesday’s accident unfortunately demonstrates.”
Freeholder Angel Estrada, a Second Vice Chairman of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, is also a supporter of the proposed roadway.
“In terms of economic benefit, the roadway would ensure the smooth flow of commerce to existing business and industry in the location, and free up the development of nearly 400 acres of brownfields that could create as many as 2,000 new jobs,” Estrada said.
The connector road would also encourage the potential development of Tremley Point as a multimodal freight village that involves rail, barging and value-added warehouses and distribution centers.
Estrada noted the urgency to move forward immediately as approvals for the project are set to expire in 2016, and would jeopardize its construction.
Through the efforts of United States Senator Bob Menendez (NJ), $10 million in Federal funds were set aside toward this project, while the Turnpike had agreed to provide more than $80 million necessary for completion, and had once included the project in its capital program before removing it a few years back.