Turnpike approves $250M in debt

Thursday, July 15, 2004
Star-Ledger Staff

New Jersey Turnpike officials voted yesterday to borrow $250 million to pay for various improvements to the highway, including $78 million for work at Interchange 12 in Carteret.

The total cost of the Interchange 12 project is $130 million, but the balance had been set aside in other bond packages.

Turnpike officials are putting together a design to rebuild Interchange 12 to eliminate traffic jams. They also are building an access road from Interchange 12 to industrial properties in Linden near the Arthur Kill waterfront.

Other projects included in the $250 million debt plan, which covers both the Garden State Parkway and the Turnpike, are:

  • $65 million for repairs to the Alfred E. Driscoll Bridge over the Raritan River, which will carry northbound Parkway traffic after a new span is built for southbound lanes.
  • $53 million for the Mullica and Bass River bridges on the Garden State Parkway in Burlington and Atlantic counties.
  • $27 million for rebuilding the deck of the Delaware River Bridge off Interchange 6, which leads to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
  • $12 million for the Roncocas Bridge on the Turnpike near Interchange 4 in Burlington County.
  • The Turnpike has more than $1 billion in its construction reserve fund, but officials said they still need to borrow more.

    "All the money we have is committed to other projects," Turnpike Executive Director Michael Lapolla said.

    Among the projects covered by the $1 billion reserve is the controversial Route 92, an extension of the Turnpike that has been proposed for southern Middlesex County. The target of intense opposition, Route 92's fate is awaiting final decisions from federal environmental officials. The Turnpike has $244.5 million set aside for Route 92.