Guide to the New Jersey Turnpike Collection 1950-2003 MG 1544
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Erin Coffey.
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. February 2005.Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Construction on the New Jersey Turnpike began in January 1950. It took 25 months to construct the entire 118-mile highway at a cost of $225 million. The first 44-mile stretch of the turnpike, from Exit 1 in Deepwater Township to Exit 5 in Westampton Township, opened on November 5, 1951. In 1952, its first full year of operation, the New Jersey Turnpike carried 17.9 million vehicles and generated $16.2 million in toll revenues. Expansion on the four lanes of the turnpike was not expected until 1975 but due to a high volume of traffic an 83-mile widening construction project began in 1955. In 1966, the turnpike introduced its “dual-dual” roadway system where passenger cars used the inner roadways while the outer roadways were used by all vehicles.
To further traffic efficiency the New Jersey Turnpike Authority developed an automatic surveillance and control system that provides information to the Turnpike Traffic Operations Center in New Brunswick. This system receives information from 965 imbedded road-sensors and from closed-circuit cameras. The system controls the changeable message signs located on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Operations Center uses these message signs to change speed limits and to alert motorists to congestion, accidents, or other hazardous road conditions.
Since 1952, the turnpike has operated a ticket system in which motorists are given a magnetically encoded ticket upon entering the turnpike. This ticket is handed over at one of the 27 toll plazas where the collector calculates the toll. In 2001, the turnpike carried approximately 205 million vehicles and generated more than $350 million in toll revenues.
This is an artificial collection that contains papers and photographs pertaining to the New Jersey Turnpike. The papers include a program from the dedication ceremony on November 30, 1951. There is also an invitation from the Governor of New Jersey for the dedication ceremony. The papers also include 22 New Jersey Turnpike toll tickets from 1976. Each ticket has a bicentennial logo as well as a short historical blurb about the American Revolution. There is also a brochure entitled The Road to Independence which includes a map showing Revolutionary War sites that motorists can access from the New Jersey Turnpike.
There are also several booklets included in the collection. There is a 1952 booklet titled The New Jersey Turnpike Toll Collection System: Operating Instructions. This booklet explains the policies and procedures to be followed by toll collectors. The booklet Automatic Surveillance and Control on the New Jersey Turnpike explains the features of the automatic surveillance system that monitors traffic and congestion on the turnpike. Also included in the collection is the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Annual Report 1968. This report includes budget figures, construction projects, accident rates, and toll revenues.
There are 51 issues of the Pike Interchange from 1959 to 1983. There is also one issue from March 1991 that discusses the painting of a large yellow ribbon on the Turnpike Administration Building in support of U.S. troops fighting in the Gulf War. The collection also contains one issue of The Turnpike from September 1959. Both these papers are published by and for employees of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The papers contain information on the accomplishments of Turnpike employees as well as information on construction projects, arrests made on the highway, and other related news events. The collection also includes 11 issues of People, a magazine published monthly by the A-P-A Transport Corp. for employees and their families. People includes information about new employees, personal news such as the birth of a baby, and other employee-related news items.
The collection also contains papers and photographs pertaining to specific New Jersey Turnpike Authority employees. There are photographs of James D. Wolfe on duty at his tollbooth. There is also a supervisor safety program certificate belonging to Ralph Mercurio. There are three service award programs honoring those employees who have worked for the Turnpike Authority for 10, 20, or 30 years. There is also a photograph of Samuel Kostic collecting the first New Jersey Turnpike toll on November 5, 1951. Also included is Kostic’s personnel card allowing him free passage on the turnpike when on duty.
For collections related to other toll roads:
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1544, New Jersey Turnpike Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.
The materials in this collection were donated by William J. Dempsey in 1999, by Ralph Mercurio in 1999, by A-P-A Transport Corp. in 2000, by Mrs. Marie Koch in 2000, by Alfred Rastall in 2000, by James D. Wolfe in 2000, by Samuel Kostic, Jr. in 2001, by Rudolph G. Domyon in 2002, and James Richards in 2003, and some materials were purchased by the New Jersey Historical Society in 2001.
“New Jersey Turnpike — Historic Overview”