Meeting set for Dec. 11 on proposed improvements to Parkway in EHT

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The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will host a Public Information Center in Egg Harbor Township to present plans for proposed  improvements at Interchanges 36, 37 and 38 on the Garden State Parkway.

The improvements are intended to address three problems with traffic operation in the area:

1. At  Interchange 36, traffic exiting onto Tilton Road often backs up onto the southbound Parkway. The Turnpike Authority plans to build an acceleration lane on Tilton Road so that vehicles exiting the southbound Parkway will not have to stop to merge into the local traffic. The Turnpike Authority also plans to build a full deceleration lane on the southbound Parkway to clear traffic exiting at Interchange 36 from the through travel lanes.

2. At Interchange 38, the ramp connecting the eastbound Atlantic City Expressway to the southbound Garden State Parkway reduces from two lanes to one before it reaches the Parkway. That causes backups. The Turnpike Authority plans to extend the two-lane ramp all the way to the Parkway.

3. Because Interchanges 38 and 37 are so close together, there is weaving among  the vehicles entering the Parkway at Interchange 38 and those attempting to exit the Parkway onto Washington Avenue at Interchange 37. The Turnpike Authority plans to eliminate that weaving by building a ramp to separate traffic entering the southbound Parkway at Interchange 38 from traffic exiting at Interchange 37. Before these proposed improvements can be made, the Turnpike Authority will need permits, certifications and approvals from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Pinelands Commission and the Cape-Atlantic Soil Conservation District. The Authority is required to perform an environmental analysis and submit an Environmental Impact Statement to NJDEP before it submits permit applications.  Input offered by members of the public at the Public Information Center will be incorporated into that document.

The Public Information Center will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the Multi-Purpose Room of the township Community Center in Egg Harbor Township at 5045 English Creek Ave. Representatives from the Turnpike Authority will be available to explain the proposed improvements to individuals or small groups. Interested drivers and residents are invited to drop by any time during the event to look at the displays and ask questions.

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