Map of southern New Jersey featuring unbuilt portion of Route 55.

New Jersey Route 55Will the ‘road to nowhere’-NJ’s Route 55-ever go somewhere?The Inky
Summer is here and I am getting wanderlust for the Jersey Shore. I’m less enthusiastic about driving thr last 30 miles of the trip though.

Adding additional capacity NJ 47/55 corridor that connects Cape May County to Philadelphia suburbs and the Delaware Memorial Bridge is once again being discussed in New Jersey, albeit not very seriously. An approximately 30 miles long stretch between the current southern terminus of NJ 55 and Cape May County beaches backs up regularly on summer weekends, but is also dangerous:

Thornton said county officials are “astounded” by accident statistics between 2003 and 2015 that show there were 23 fatalities and 2,817 accidents along a 23-mile stretch of the heavily traveled Route 47 Shore route between here and the intersection of the Garden State Parkway in Rio Grande.

I’m skeptical of a limited access NJ 55 all the way to the Parkway ever being built due to cost and environmental concerns. I’m also skeptical that it would do more than just relocate the backup to a nicer road because capacity from the Parkway to the barrier islands isn’t going to increase anytime soon if ever. That being said, the safety of the corridor ought not be dismissed. From my anecdotal summer Saturday observations, I believe that doubling up and dividing NJ 83, NJ 347 and NJ 47 on either end is probably worthwhile, even as something other than a limited-access highway. Not having to adhere to freeway standards would seemingly keep costs down significantly. Also, let’s replace the 83 and 347 designations with 55 for a continuous number.

Maybe if they call it the Mike Trout Highway, NJ 55 goes through his native Millville, it’ll get built.


Author: WFY

Yet another Washingtonian pushing the ubiquitous Nats/DC sports, Penn State, commuting, bicycling, kayaking, broomball, skiing, gin & tonic agenda.

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