Atlantic City Expressway marks 50th anniversary

 This is an aerial view of Atlantic City, N.J., with the famed boardwalk and beach in the foreground, on August 24, 1967. Seen on the left are the facilities of the Convention Hall, in the background is the new 70-mile-per-hour Atlantic City Expressway, which leads right into the heart of the city. (AP Photo)

This is an aerial view of Atlantic City, N.J., with the famed boardwalk and beach in the foreground, on August 24, 1967. Seen on the left are the facilities of the Convention Hall, in the background is the new 70-mile-per-hour Atlantic City Expressway, which leads right into the heart of the city. (AP Photo)

Motorists on the Atlantic City Expressway might want to wish the toll road a happy 50th anniversary.

The 44-mile road opened on July 31, 1964 when Omero Catan of Tenafly drove his Chevrolet convertible through a ceremonial banner. The expressway saved motorists a slower ride to Atlantic City along the White Horse and Black Horse pikes.

The toll at the Egg Harbor plaza was 75 cents then compared to $3 now. And the speed limit was 70 mph instead of the current 65 mph.

The Press of Atlantic City reports 1,014,548 vehicles paid $741,668 in tolls on the expressway in 1964. That compares to a peak of nearly 67 million vehicles in 2008. Toll revenue hit a record of $82.2 million in 2009 following an increase.

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