By The New Jersey Turnpike Authority: The Garden State Parkway has transformed the lives of New Jersey residents since opening in 1954. Spanning 173 miles from Cape May to the New York State line, it has fostered tourism to the Jersey Shore and given commuters an easier way to get to work. Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll had envisioned the impact a new highway could have on the state, and a large team of planners, engineers, and contractors made it happen. In 1952, the legislature created the New Jersey Highway Authority to ensure the funding and completion of the $330-million parkway and to self-sufficiently operate the roadway through toll revenue. Garden State Parkway shows how this iconic roadway gained its place in history and continues to combine safe transportation in a parklike setting with the scenic beauty of New Jersey.