Five Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Atlantic City Expressway
When we think of getting from one side of South Jersey to the other, without much thinking, we hop on the Atlantic City Expressway and get from A to B at a pretty good clip (except for Friday or Sunday evenings in the summer). But that road that cuts through a bunch of pine trees in Atlantic County has some quirks. So here are five things you may not know about the Atlantic City Expressway.
The Atlantic City Expressway backwards. Let's explain -- just about every major road across the country has mile marker 0 at the western or southern end of that road, but not the Atlantic City Expressway. Legend has it that those who built the road wanted mile marker 0 to be in Atlantic City by the ocean. If it was like every other road, mile marker 0 would be in Turnersville where mile marker 44 is.
Plans for a highway between Camden and Atlantic City date back to 1932 but it wasn't until the 1950s that those plans began to have some life. State Senator Frank S. Farley (the guy they named the service plaza after) pushed for an expressway across South Jersey and construction began in 1962. Portions of the road opened in 1965.
Well, yes, literally, the Expressway is connected to the Garden State Parkway at Exit 7, but we're also talking about being connected on an engineering level. According to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Chief Engineer Harold Griffin did a lot of design and engineering work on Parkway. He retired right after the Parkway opened but came out of retirement to design the Atlantic City Expressway.
When the Atlantic City Expressway opened in the mid 1960s at a total cost of about $48 million, you could travel end-to-end for 90 cents. Decades later, it'll now cost you almost $4 to make that same journey. Beyond that, the South Jersey Transportation Authority is preparing to vote on a toll increase that will fund a $500 million capital improvement project.