Officials outline plans to widen GSP

January 28, 2009 4:27:55 AM PST
Wider is safer. That's the message from Garden State Parkway officials as they outlined plans to widen a dangerous 16-mile stretch of the toll road between Toms River and Wall Township.

The new section will have three 12-foot lanes and two 12-foot shoulders in each direction. Currently, there are no shoulders for state troopers to safely pull over speeding motorists.

Officials say the parkway between mile markers 80 and 100 is one of the worst for accidents. There were 9,408 accidents between 2000 and 2008, and 63 people died.

Project manager Brian Mausert says nearly two-thirds of the deaths happened after motorists ran off the road and struck trees.

The speed limit was reduced from 65 mph to 55 mph along the stretch last March.

Construction is estimated to begin in 2011.

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