By Mike DeNardo

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — The one-year countdown is underway toward the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic City Expressway.

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Today, it was 49 years and counting as South Jersey Transportation Authority executive director Sam Donelson unveiled a digital screen at the Frank Farley service plaza.

That screen will count the seconds until July 31, 2014, when the Atlantic City Expressway will mark its 50th anniversary.

Donelson say the highway has provided a cultural and economic link between Philadelphia and the shore.

“But for the expressway, there would be no casino gaming for sure in Atlantic City,” he noted today.  “There’d be no convenient way to get there.  And for all of the folks who go to the Cape May County shore regions like Ocean City, Cape May City, Stone Harbor, Avalon, and so forth, this has made their ride convenient and allowed those towns to flourish.”

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When the expressway opened in 1964, it went only as far as the Garden State Parkway. The final leg to Atlantic City was completed a year later.

(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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The original tolls were 75 cents at Egg Harbor (now $3), and 15 cents in Pleasantville (now 75 cents).

 

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