Hugin: Extend Route 55 in South Jersey
WOODBINE, NJ 一 U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin today denounced Sen. Bob Menendez’s inaction and decision to side with special interest groups over South Jersey residents regarding the long-delayed extension of Route 55, also known as Veterans Memorial Highway.
“Senator Menendez has had nearly two decades to deliver the Route 55 extension for Cape May residents that will generate economic growth and prosperity, as well as highway safety in the region,” said Hugin. “Instead, Menendez has completely ignored the people of South Jersey while catering to special interests groups that oppose the project. This project needed to be completed decades ago and it can be done in a way that protects the surrounding environment. It’s time to get it done.”
Hugin was joined by elected officials from the region who highlighted the importance of the project and Menendez’s failure to support the local community.
“The failure to complete the Route 55 extension has impeded economic growth in Cape May County and the surrounding region,” said Woodbine Mayor William Pikolycky. “We need leaders like Bob Hugin in Washington who will be partners with local elected officials to ensure all levels of government are serving in the best interests of the people of New Jersey.”
“Bob Menendez says he fights for New Jersey, but he certainly isn’t fighting for us,” said Freeholder Lenny Desiderio. “For decades, our community has advocated for the Route 55 extension to be completed, but time and time again our requests have fallen on deaf ears of North Jersey politicians who never even bother to visit South Jersey or take an interest in our issues. It’s time for new leadership and I’m confident Bob Hugin will get results for our community.”
“It’s encouraging that leaders like Bob Hugin recognize the importance of local infrastructure projects and the positive impact they have on economic growth and quality of life,” said Freeholder E. Marie Hayes. “I know that Bob Hugin will be a force for change and a strong advocate in fighting for our local communities.”
Construction of the route, which initially was slated to extend from Gloucester County into Cape May County, was halted in 1975 with its southern terminus falling short in Maurice River Township in Cumberland County. The stalled project has not only prevented economic growth and development in the region, but it also has created dangerous traffic problems, leading to increased accidents in Cumberland County where the highway merges with a local road.
Route 55 is a state highway that runs 40.54 miles south from Route 42 in Gloucester County to an intersection with Route 47 in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County. Route 55 is used as a commuter route north to Philadelphia and, along with Route 47, as a route from the Delaware Valley to the Jersey Shore resorts in Cape May County.
In rural Cumberland County, the four lanes of Route 55 narrow to a single lane before merging with Route 47, a local road authorities contend is not suitable for the heavy tourist and commuter traffic is has been handling. The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization issued a report last year concluding auto accidents in the area where Route 55 and Route 47 merge are four times the statewide average.
Since the southernmost portion of the roadway construction was cancelled in 1975, local residents and officials have been calling for the roadway to be extended into Cape May. Numerous attempts have been made to complete the roadway, however each has ultimately failed. With no state funding committed to the project, federal action may be the only avenue available to complete Route 55, but Sen. Menendez will not help South Jersey.
Bob Hugin, a Marine Corps Veteran and business leader who has created thousands of New Jersey jobs, is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Senator Bob Menendez. For more information visit bobhugin.com.