N.J. officials may fight SR 206 truck plan

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The New Jersey Department of Transportation will allow 102-inch-wide trucks and double-trailer truck combinations along State Route 206, despite multiple attempts by municipalities along the road to ban the trucks, the Courier News of Bridgewater, N.J., reported.

The final rules – developed by Transportation Department officials as part of a truck task force – require large trucks to use the National Network, of which SR 206 is a part, unless seeking “food, fuel, rest, repairs, or to reach a terminal” by the shortest travel route, according to the newspaper; upon completing each trip, trucks are required to return to the National Network to get to their next destination.

Officials in Hillsborough, Montgomery, Somerville and neighboring municipalities told the Courier News they will fight the plan, citing hundreds of truck-related motor vehicle accidents, increased traffic volume and safety. In Hillsborough, Mayor Anthony Ferrera continues pursuing state legislation to ban the trucks from the highway, and Assemblyman Peter Biondi, R-Hillsborough, told the newspaper that he is finalizing legislation to ban tandem trucks from SR 206.

Biondi, a former executive for a trucking firm, told the Courier News he expects the legislation to be completed within days. “We find this ludicrous,” Biondi told the newspaper. “This is a safety issue with an increased risk for accidents.”

Transportation department spokeswoman Erin Phalon told the Courier News that under regulations from 1999 and 1987, tandem trucks always have had access to such state access roads as SR 206. State highways such as routes 27, 206 and 31 have made up what’s known as the NJ Access Network since adoption of truck-routing regulations in 1987, Phalon told the newspaper.