Critics say Xanadu project will cause big problems in East Rutherford

Developers signed the lease and handed a $160 million check Tuesday to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority for the right to build Xanadu. However, some critics say the project at the Meadowlands will cause big problems in East Rutherford.

Some critics predict there will be more traffic and roadblocks in the surrounding area. Other environmental critics are worried the wetlands will not be conserved.

The state transportation commissioner claims major improvements to the turnpike along routes 3, 17, and 120 and a light rail system will keep the traffic under control. Officials say a compromise has been reached with environmentalists over protecting a large section of the wetlands in the area.

The proposed recreation and entertainment center is a $1.3 billion project that includes skiing, simulated sky diving, restaurants and retail stores. Xanadu is scheduled to open in the spring of 2007.

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