New Jersey Route 55

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Route 55 marker

New Jersey State Highway Routes

Route 55 is a state highway in the southern part of New Jersey, United States that is built to freeway standards. Also known as the Veterans Memorial Highway, it runs 40.54 mi (65.24 km) from an intersection with Route 47 in Port Elizabeth north to an interchange with Route 42 in Gloucester County. The Route 55 freeway serves as a main road through Cumberland and Gloucester counties, serving Millville, Vineland, and Glassboro. It is used as a commuter route north to Philadelphia and, along with Route 47, as a route from the Delaware Valley to the Jersey Shore resorts in Cape May County.

What is now Route 55 was originally proposed in the 1950s as a toll road called the Cape May Expressway that was to run from the Walt Whitman Bridge to Cape May. In 1962, the New Jersey Expressway Authority was created to build the Cape May Expressway and the Atlantic City Expressway. However, by 1965, the road to Cape May was turned over to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and designated as Route 55, which was to run from Westville to Cape May Court House. The first portion of the route opened around Millville in 1969 while the section bypassing Vineland was completed in the 1970s. Route 55 was completed north to Deptford in 1989. Meanwhile, the portion between Route 47 in Port Elizabeth and the Garden State Parkway in Middle Township was canceled in 1975 due to the impact the highway would have on the surrounding environment. However, traffic jams on Route 47 during the summer months and the lack of an adequate evacuation route for the Cape May Peninsula have led officials to reexamine the possibility of extending Route 55 southward to Cape May County.

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