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Letter: Bridge toll has stifled growth

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The vehicle crossing between Gloucester and York counties has been a contentious topic for several decades. During the years of the ferryboats, numerous efforts to construct a bridge were blocked in bureaucratic processes that resulted in a sporadic, but steady decline of Gloucester’s population. Between the 1952 opening of the George P. Coleman Bridge and 1960, Gloucester grew about 15 percent to almost 12,000 people, despite a toll in both directions.

This rate of growth was sustained until the toll was removed in 1976. Gloucester’s population increased by approximately 15,000 people during the 24 years without a toll; leading to an increase in small businesses and to Walmart and numerous other population dependent businesses coming to Gloucester. Due to the reinstatement of the toll in 1995, Gloucester’s population growth slowed dramatically from nearly 50 percent to around 15 percent between 1990 and 2000. Even during several years of th...

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