Building it

printChoices 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, September 3, 1971

By James Ladeda
     A Superior Court judge in New Brunswick yesterday called a temporary halt to the expansion of the New Jersey Turnpike in at least part of Middlesex County.
     A spokesman for the Turnpike Authority said it would appeal the decision.
     Leonard Weinglass, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said it was the first time a New Jersey court had stopped an approved construction project in the Turnpike's 20-year history.
     Judge David Furman, in a meeting in his chambers, ordered the halt until at least Sept. 22 to give the Concerned Citizens of East Brunswick time to appeal to the State Department of Environmental Protection.
     They want a public hearing in order to be able to present evidence of possible environmental damage to their neighborhood along the Lawrence Brook near the New Brunswick city line.
     In the event that a hearing has not been granted by that time, Furman said, he will consider an application for an extension of the temporary restraining order.
     The order will certainly affect the neighborhood of the Concerned Citizens and may block the entire expansion, scheduled to run from Edison to New Brunswick.
     The Concerned Citizens in their suit had asked for a halt to the entire project. But whether Furman's decision will do this won't be known until he issues the formal, written order. This could come today.

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

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