Office of the Governor
“Celebrates New Jersey” in Salem County
Announces plans for Route 49 Bridge Holds
Countywide Town Meeting at Salem County College
(Salem County) - During the second day of his “Celebrate New Jersey” tour, Governor James E. McGreevey today visited Salem County to announce plans to replace the Route 49 Bridge and will hold a countywide Town Meeting at the County College.
McGreevey Announces Replacement of Route 49 Bridge
Governor McGreevey announced that in FY 2003 the State is investing more than $21 million in a Fix-It First project that will replace the current Route 49 bridge over the Salem River with a new 480-foot fixed, convertible vertical lift bridge with two 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulders.
“This $21.8 million investment in the Route 49 Bridge over the Salem River is an example of our administration’s commitment to replace and restore New Jersey’s aging bridges,” said McGreevey. “Even in tight budgetary times, we have an obligation to ensure that the State’s transportation infrastructure is safe and efficient.”
"The Route 49 bridge project is a good example of fixing our existing transportation system first. The old bridge has narrow lanes, no shoulders and is structurally deficient. Our bridge project will ensure not only easier passage over the Salem River, but reliability should the roadway ever be needed for emergency purposes," said DOT Commissioner James Fox.
Governor McGreevey emphasized the fact that the project will be sensitive to the needs of commuters. The new bridge will be constructed alongside the existing bridge, and commuters will not face a bridge closing or disruptions. Construction on the project will begin in October, 2002, and is expected to be completed in 2005. The Department of Transportation’s 2002 budget included $5 million to fund this project, and the Department’s 2003 budget includes the remaining $16.8 million.
The new bridge will have the capability to be converted into a movable bridge if necessary and includes a number of significant improvements. It will have 12-foot travel lanes with 10-foot shoulders, a center turn lane heading Eastbound will be added to allow for turns onto Griffith Street, and a sidewalk will be created on the north side of the new bridge for pedestrian crossing.
In addition, 200 feet of basic approach work will be done on the Pennsville side of the bridge and a nearby railroad crossing on the Salem side will have its grading enhanced.
KEEPING STATE GOVERNMENT OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE
Tonight, the Governor will hold a countywide town meeting at Salem County Community College at 7:00 p.m. to discuss ways that the State is improving Salem County’s schools, investing in its transportation infrastructure and promoting economic development.
During his campaign, McGreevey promised New Jerseyans that he would hold town meetings throughout the state as part of his commitment to give government back to the people and to provide them with a state government that is responsive and accountable.
“Celebrate New Jersey” is a 10-day tour throughout the State during which the Governor will celebrate New Jersey’s unique culture and heritage, while continuing to advance his Administration’s commitment to investing in New Jersey’s future through educational and economic development initiatives. “Celebrate New Jersey” will run through Wednesday, July 31st and will include stops in all 21 counties.
Today, the Governor also visited Gloucester and Cumberland Counties and will “Celebrate New Jersey” in Camden, Burlington and Ocean Counties tomorrow.