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      50th anniversary graphic

Through the Years - 1980s

The 1980s brought many firsts to transportation, one of those being the first female commissioner. In 1981, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) welcomed its first female Commissioner, Anne P. Canby and then again in 1986, Hazel Frank Gluck was named NJDOT Commissioner. Other Commissioners in this decade were John P. Sheridan, Jr., Roger A. Bodman and Robert Innocenzi.

1984 marked a pivotal point in NJDOT's history, when Governor Kean signed the Transportation Trust Fund Authority Act which gave NJDOT the first reliable, stable funding source since the Constitution was changed in 1948 to eliminate the dedication of funds to transportation projects.

anne canby photo
Anne P. Canby
1981 - 1982

john sheridan photo
John P. Sheridan, Jr.
1982 - 1985

roger bodman photo
Roger A. Bodman
1985 - 1986

hazel frank gluck photo
Hazel Frank Gluck
1986 - 1989

robert innocenzi photo
Robert Innocenzi*
1989 - 1990


  • The first noise barriers built in New Jersey were on I-676 in Camden.
  • The third Interstate built through New Jersey was completed when the last 3.6 miles of the 18-mile I-280 was opened.
  • The first High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in New Jersey was opened on the Garden State Parkway from Exit 129 to Exit 141 (12 miles).


  • Anne P. Canby was named NJDOT Commissioner, the first female to hold that title in New Jersey.


  • Arlene Butler Feldman, became the first female to hold the position of Director of the Division of Aeronautics in New Jersey and in the nation.


  • The New Jersey legislature enacted the historic Transportation Trust Fund Authority Act, the first reliable stable funding source in decades.
  • First conceived by NJDOT planners in 1969 shortly after the creation of NJDOT, the re-electrified 67-mile Morris and Essex rail line was opened.


  • The 5.5 mile missing link of I-78 was opened, completing the interstate from the Holland Tunnel to Still Valley near the Pennsylvania border. It included more environmental safeguards than any other road construction ever undertaken in New Jersey, including the first national wildlife bridges.


  • The state’s first employee child care center opens, DOT TOT, at the NJDOT Headquarters in Ewing.


  • A fire burned for three days causing severe damage to I-78 near Newark, a main route to New York City and Newark International Airport. NJDOT was able to fix and reopen the highway in eight days.
  • The final 13-mile section of Route 55 Freeway opened in Gloucester County, connecting Route 42 to Route 47. This project required one of the largest right of way acquisitions in NJDOT history - 700 parcels of land - and the removal of three landfills.

transportation trust fund graphic

*Acting Commissioner

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  Copyright © State of New Jersey, 2002-2019
  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  September 19, 2016