End of the road for call boxes along Atlantic City Expressway

It’s day one for crews in New Jersey removing call boxes along the Atlantic City Expressway. Officials say the boxes are the last of a dying breed.

“It’s the march of time,” said Kevin Rehmann, spokesman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority. “They’ve become obsolete, very expensive and not necessarily user-friendly.”

Crews are using an excavator to rip out the call boxes — cement base and all. The A.C. Expressway is the last roadway in New Jersey that still has the boxes, according to Rehmann.

They were first installed in the ’80s.

“Almost everyone has a cell phone now,” Rehmann said. “So we’re getting redundant calls and not necessarily calls for service. It’s just not a productive way to do business.”

Unlike what most people assume, the boxes don’t actually have phones in them. They use a switch that sends a signal to a dispatcher who then sends help.

In their place, crews will put up signs with numbers to dial.

Crews will spend the next 90 days removing the boxes and putting up the new signs. There are two boxes (one on each side) for every mile of the 44-mile-long expressway.

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