Parkway lights

The traffic light on the Garden State Parkway at the intersection of Stone Harbor Boulevard looking south is one of three that will be removed when parkway ramps are built.

Dale Gerhard

A public hearing on the removal of three traffic lights on the Garden State Parkway will take place today in Cape May Court House.

Representatives of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the parkway, will be at the Cape May County Administration Building on Moore Road from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to answer questions about the project. Renderings of the project design will be on display.

Construction on the $125 million project that's been discussed for more than 50 years is set to begin in December, Turnpike Authority officials said last week. The project will remove lights at Crest Haven Road, Stone Harbor Boulevard and Shell Bay Avenue.

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Those signals have been blamed for various motor vehicle accidents, some of which have been fatal. Construction will take two and a half years, officials said.

Funding has been in place for years, but the project was most recently held up by complications relating to environmental concerns.

About 3.5 acres of saltwater wetlands will be wiped out when the concrete overpasses and ramps are constructed in place of the traffic lights. State law requires that for every acre of wetlands destroyed, two must be created in the same watershed.

After much debate, the Turnpike Authority recently came to agreement regarding where the wetlands will be replaced.

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