Project to remove Parkway lights officially underway - NBC40.net

Project to remove Parkway lights officially underway

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MIDDLE TWP. -

After decades of delays the traffic lights on the Garden State Parkway are coming out.

"Every time, talking about this brings tears, but today the tears are different. They are happy tears," Eric Meyer said.

Shedding tears and giving hugs, Erik Meyer's quest to have the state remove the three traffic lights on the Garden State Parkway came to fruition Monday morning, nearly 10 years after his 17- year-old son was killed driving home from a movie.

"I have a son Nicholas, he'll be 17 someday and I don't want to lose him at these lights. I just want them to know, all the people who said I'll sign your petition, but it aint gonna change nothing, here I am today... it did," Meyer said.

"It's going to be better for commuting, better for tourism, better for traveling, but that's not the most important part. The most important part is no parent should have to worry that their 17- -year-old son is sitting at a light on the Garden State Parkway and because of bad engineering is going to lose his or her life," Sen. Jeff Van Drew said.

What many people don't know is these lights were originally put in here as a temporary fix when they were constructing the parkway in the 50's, but they ran out of money during construction and never made a permanent change. Now more than a half century later they are still here.

"This represents over a half century of promises, over 50 years ago it was promised these traffic lights would be taken out and now its finally happening," Van Drew said.

Officials say construction will begin this month. It's expected to last until October of 2015.

For Erik, its been a long bureaucratic battle, but now it's over and he says the fight was worth it.

"I didn't want anyone else to do or suffer like we did," Meyer said.

Officials say auxiliary roads will be built during construction to ease traffic headaches.

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