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Parkway Shoulder Causing Headache For Homeowners

The Garden State Parkway shoulder widening project through Ocean and Monmouth Counties received a lot of blow back from residents living near the highway, however with the construction in full gear the problem hasn’t quieted down.Listen to the entire program:

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(Left to right) Robert Filipczak, John Sluka, Stephen Brill, Michele Spector.
(Left to right) Robert Filipczak, John Sluka, Stephen Brill, Michele Spector (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media NJ)

During WOBM’s Townsquare Tonight on Wednesday, several residents of Brick Township’s  Evergreen Woods neighborhood said while traffic from the nearby parkway was rarely noticeable before construction, it has become unbearable now.

“You have eight lanes of traffic and fumes on top of everything. You can’t sleep at night, you can’t get to sleep until after twelve or one in the morning, kids are waking up in the middle of the night, people are having asthma that never had it before,” said Michele Spector, Brick resident.

Since the project’s inception, the residents have asked for a sound wall to block the noise from the expanded shoulder lanes. However, state officials from the Department of Transportation said since the project only widens the shoulders, not adds lanes, there should be no increase in traffic-the main factor in allowing a sound wall.

Spector and several of the projects opponents said by cutting down trees, which acted as a natural barrier, the road would be more disruptive.

While a sound wall is definitely not happening, Tom Feeney, spokesman for the NJ DOT, said they will plant new trees after everything is completed.

“Right now the trees that are there are sort of tall and thin, that’s always been the case.”

Feeney noted the project won’t be detrimental to home values, and pointed out the Parkway has predated most of the local communities, and developers were warned about the potential for noise.

“They built this development and people buy homes there, they should expect that they’ll be living next to the busiest toll road in North America and they’re going to hear it.”

However, Spector said when she purchased her home, there was no anticipation the Parkway would expand as rapidly as it did.

“There was two lanes going each way, now you have four lanes in each direction  and you’ve taken that center median. “

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