COURTHOUSE, N.J. – With tens of thousands of people planning to travel to Wildwood Tuesday, Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan have called on Gov. Phil Murphy’s top appointee at the Department of Transportation to reopen Rt. 47 to traffic ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally at the Wildwoods Convention Center next week.
The assemblymen sent a letter to Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti expressing a number of their concerns about closing a major traffic artery in Cape May County while so many are preparing to visit during the off-season.
“This is happening just a few miles from the president’s visit,” said Simonsen (R Cape May). “DOT’s last minute road closure will cause massive traffic problems on what would normally be a quiet, winter day at the shore. This is why we are asking the commissioner to postpone the roadwork until after the president’s visit.”
Trump rallies typically draw tens of thousands of supporters who often start lining up more than 24 hours in advance, bringing chairs and inflatable furniture, to wait. The Wildwood rally has the highest ticket request (about 100,000, per media reports) of any of Trump’s close to 50 similar events across the nation, so far.
“We must think of the safety of the motorists traveling, some from great distances, to attend the President’s rally,” said McClellan (R-Cape May). “Call it poor timing, but next week is not an appropriate time to start road repairs that will directly impact motorists coming from the southwestern area of the state.”
Trump announced his plans 11 days ahead of the DOT announcement Friday just eight days before the event. The road is expected to remain closed through June.
This is the first time a sitting American president has visited Wildwood, and the first time Cape May County has played host since 1891, when President Benjamin Harrison visited Cape May.