Building it

Choices and Consequences

Citizens Fight Back
Newspaper Coverage of Expansion Through East Brunswick, 1971-1972


Follow the story of East Brunswick's resistance to a Turnpike widening project through these transcribed newspaper articles from 1971 and 1972. It becomes readily apparent that twenty years after the Turnpike opened, attitudes about road construction had changed. In East Brunswick, residents responded to the Authority's widening plan with concerns over noise and air pollution, traffic congestion, and perpetual expansion. Some banded together to form the CCEB (Concerned Citizens of East Brunswick). After a series of legal battles, the CCEB agreed to drop the lawsuits it had brought against the Authority if the Authority agreed to monitor pollution levels along the seven-mile area as well as erect an earthen barrier to muffle traffic sounds. These concessions became the rule in later widening projects.


The Star-Ledger, August 21, 1971

     The Concerned Citizens of New Brunswick yesterday filed suit in Superior Court in New Brunswick to contest the planned $125 million expansion of the New Jersey Turnpike.
     The 42-member group asked Judge David Furnan for termporary restraining order, preventing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority from carrying out any further site work or condemnation proceedings for the land.
     Judge Furman is due to hear the plea for the restraining order on Monday afternoon.
     The suit contends the Authority's plan to widen the Turnpike from six to 12 lanes in Middlesex County would create serious noise and air pollution.
     Present plans call for 6.1 miles of widening from Edison to New Brunswick. The number nine Interchange in New Brunswick would also be reconstructed and a bridge would be built over Lawrence Brook.
     The suit claims the Authority has not held public hearings on the plans. It also contends the Authority's power to condemn land for its use is limited and that its plans should be submitted to the State Legislature.
     The group has been fighting the plans since they were made public in April. It met twice with Gov. William T. Cahill in June. However, on June 29, the governor told them the expansion would proceed on schedule.

© 1971. The Star-Ledger. All rights reserved. Posted with permission of The Star-Ledger.

2 of 6