During the late 1960's and early 1970's, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) performed traffic studies along the Garden State Parkway-US 9 corridor through Atlantic County, and on the basis of these studies, proposed a new freeway parallel to the existing US 9. The new US 9 Freeway, which was to extend 14.2 miles from the proposed NJ 60 Freeway near Somers Point north to Atlantic CR 575 in Smithville, was to alleviate congestion on the heavily commercialized US 9 corridor, and accommodate excess traffic demand from the parallel Garden State Parkway.

The 1972 NJDOT Master Plan for Transportation described the route as follows:

US 9 is a major north-south land service route serving the Atlantic City urbanized area. A combination of substandard geometrics and inadequate capacity renders this section of highway incapable of accommodating the traffic demands placed upon it, especially during the summer months. The concentration of commercial development along US 9 in this area negates the feasibility of constructing adequate improvements on the existing alignment. Although the best possible solution would be widening and selected interchange improvements on the Garden State Parkway, it may not be possible to construct such improvements.

The NJDOT estimated the cost of the proposed US 9 Freeway at $35 million. By the mid-to-late 1970's, escalating construction costs and stricter environmental regulations forced officials to drop the US 9 Freeway proposal.

SOURCES: New Jersey Highway Facts, New Jersey Department of Transportation (1969); Master Plan for Transportation, New Jersey Department of Transportation (1972).

  • US 9 shield by Ralph Herman.


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