Building it
 

Choices and Consequences

Elizabeth's Struggle
Newspaper Coverage, 1949-1951

 
For months, the dilemma in Elizabeth played out in the daily papers: would the Turnpike be routed through the city? Read through these transcriptions to see what unfolded. After Elizabeth lost several court cases to divert the Turnpike, construction began in the winter of 1950. But city officials responded with their own tactics, and it all reached a boiling point when two children accidentally drowned in a water-filled pit left by construction workers.

WARNS PIKE OF DANGERS
Elizabeth Asks Guards Be Kept to Prevent More Mishaps

Newark Evening News, August 3, 1951

Staff Correspondent.
     ELIZABETH—This city yesterday, for the second time in less than a week, told the New Jersey Turnpike Authority that a full complement of guards should continue to be maintained along the toll road's construction path to prevent any possible accidents.
     Citing the case of a 7-year-old girl who narrowly escaped drowning in a mud pit Saturday at the turnpike site, the board told William Allsopp, a turnpike representative, that guards should be continued until the dirt fill operation is completed and until the more hazardous phases of steel structural work are finished.
     Allsopp appeared before the board to ask that it approve a reduction in the guard force from its present 16 to eight. He pointed out that the original agreement under which the guards were hired called for their discharge August 4.

Quit at Midnight
    But after the board pointed out its reasons for continuing the guard patrol, Allsopp indicated he would recommend to the Authority that the force be maintained. The board did, however, approve Allsopp's request that no guards be maintained after midnight. They are now there until 2 A.M.
    The board told Allsopp it would be glad to reopen the question at a later date when the major construction hazards of the turnpike operation are diminshed.
    The board adopted a resolution restricting traffic in Lyons place to an eastbound direction between Murray street and Rahway avenue. The change was made at the request of the police department.

 

Courtesy of the Newark Public Library.


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