Western New Jersey

NJ officials want to build wall near Delaware Water Gap to prevent rockslides

New Jersey officials say they want to build a wall along I-80 near the Delaware Water Gap to prevent rockslides. They call it one of the most dangerous places in the state.

But some people who live nearby say a wall would be ugly, expensive and pointless. 

Allamuchy Township's Charles Fineran was among the hundreds who came to North Warren Regional High School. He opposes a wall being built off I-80 in Warren County.

Fineran spent 25 years on area roads as a state trooper, and he says he has a better idea New Jersey can address.

"I would make the recommendation that they spend it going east on Route 80 where all these other people are having head-on collisions because of no guard rails," Fineran said.

A state DOT official says the state's already looking into it.

But the focus is on building a 60-foot concrete barrier to keep rocks from falling onto the highway between Hardwick and Knowlton Townships, a stretch that has the highest rockfall hazard rating in the state.

"It's very difficult for us as municipal officials to justify the need for a project when we can't see the details they say happened," said Knowlton Township Mayor Adele Starrs. ​

Starrs led a Q&A session with the public down the hall from the state's open house.

"There are lot of reasons" why he opposes the project,"but the cost is one of the biggest. $65.624 million and every rockwall project in New Jersey is $8 million or less."

DOT officials say there is not an exact dollar amount because plans have yet to be finalized.

Other concerns include obstructing the view of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Warren County's Michael Helbing is against the wall but says the state's idea for a tunnel is on the right track if they put a trail on top.

"We have a way of taking something that's negative, because everybody here is against it, and making it 100 percent positive," Helbing said.

The tunnel is the most expensive option, but Helbing says there may be other sources of funding to support the trail.  

Whatever the state spends the money on, construction begins in 2022 and there's no way around it. 

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links, images, inappropriate language, or memes may be removed by the moderator.  Job listings and similar posts are likely automated SPAM messages from Facebook and are not placed by WFMZ-TV.

This Week's Circulars

Western NJ News

Latest From The Newsroom