FIGHT TO SHIFT PIKE IN ELIZABETH
City Engineer Tells Eastern Union C. of C. That Decision Was Set Against
Newark Evening News, December 9, 1949
ELIZABETH. City Engineer
Collins yesterday conceded that his proposed plan for construction of
the New Jersey Turnpike along the city's waterfront was doomed. He made
the statement in addressing the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Union
County on his plan and the one which advocates use of Fourth street
for the toll road which was made for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority
by its consulting engineers.
"The decision for the Fourth street
route was made before they came here, and that is the route you are
going to get," said Collins. "The recommendation of the consulting
engineers is the recommendation of the commission" (authority).
Collins referred to the recommendation
presented to turnpike officials at a hearing here November 25 which
was called to acquaint local officials with the progress of planned
turnpike construction through the city. The recommendation, in addition
to urging the authority to adopt the Fourth street proposal, blasted
Collins's waterfront scheme, which it termed as having "no compensating
Much of the city engineer's talk was devoted
to registering a complaint against the attack made on his plan by the
"In all my 35 years' experience as
an engineer, I have never been subjected to such discourteous treatment,"
Collins explained the courses the two
proposed alignments of the road would follow in the city. His explanation
of the course of the Fourth street proposal was not dissimilar to the
recommendation of the consultants. He pointed out the plan would close
Bayway, which would be moved north, and the street that would replace
it would be built with a curve and a 4 percent grade, "a very difficult
road on which to operate heavy trucking."
From detailed Fourth street plans, Collins
said he could find no provisions for S-100. (Under plans developed by
the State Highway Department for Route 100, the road which the turnpike
supplants, S-100, was to have served as a connecting link between Routes
25 and 100.) Abandonment of that spur kills the city's effort to have
the state take over Division street as a "feeder" road to
S-100, Collins pointed out.
Lack of entrances to the road were scored
by Collins as working to the city's disadvantage in the proposed construction.
He said that lack, between the Central Railroad and the Newark City
line, ruined any future development of the meadowlands.
Cites Housing Problem
"But the real problem is the 200
families this road will displace. What will we do to house them?"
In offering his waterfront plan, Collins
admitted at the outset it was longer and would cost more. He termed
the $29,000,000 additional cost, estimated by the consultants, as "ridiculous."
He said that $5,000,000 would be a much more accurate figure.
Pictures City's Plight
After a question and answer period during
which the possible effects the routes might have on specific industries
were discussed, Robert C. Crane summarized what he said was the city's
position. He pointed to the proposed encroachments confronting the city
from the turnpike and from the Port of New York Authority.
"The time has come, as far as Elizabeth
is concerned," Crane declared, "when it is a question whether
we want to exist or become known as the crossroads of America."
Courtesy of the Newark Public Library.