Gov. Murphy on $4.7B Turnpike widening project: ‘It’s quite ambitious, it’s needed’


For the first time, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) vocalized support for the $4.7 billion New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s widening project extension near the Holland Tunnel during an appearance on News 12’s “Ask Gov. Murphy” last night.

Screenshot via News 12.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“My personal and strong opinion is this is where the world’s headed: we’re the mostly populated state in America so getting the environment right, automobiles right is at the top of the list: it’s a very meaningful incentive,” Murphy said during the program.

” … It’s where the world’s headed: I get asked all the time ‘why are you widening the turnpike?’ Folks when they have these conversations, they’re thinking of what cars have been like, not what they will be like … It’s quite ambitious, it’s needed.”

Last week, the Hoboken City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the project, with their counterparts in Jersey City set to do the same at their meeting tomorrow evening.

In response, Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative Director Mark Longo slammed the opposition and was quite strongly worded in his statement.

“We all wish to wave the magic wand so traffic would disappear, pollution would not exist, and unicorns would safely stroll down Washington or Grove Street,” he said in part.

The three-phase proposal would begin by widening the extension to four lanes in both directions.

From there, they would widen 14A to Columbus Drive in Jersey City to three lanes, while the third and final phase would replace elevated structures from Columbus Drive to Jersey Avenue.

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  1. Let’s take the pinch point….and put it somewhere else! Don’t get me wrong, the toll area by the 78 / 95 junction is one of the worst areas to drive in all of NJ. Will widening it help? Maybe for a few months, but empirical study after empirical study shows that widening roads does not help. We shouldn’t be encouraging people to drive into Hudson County unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

  2. I understand widening the bay bridge. And I understand that it would require widening until Columbus Drive. But couldn’t they work in a way to dis-incentivize drivers from taking shortcuts to the tunnel, or perhaps continuing grade separation all the way up to the tunnel entrance to remove cars from city streets? Sounds more efficient (env friendly) and better for everybody’s health in JC.
    And I’m only saying this because it’s a given that they are going to spend the money here. Imagine what could be done with this kind of money spent on NJT.