$2.7B N.J. Turnpike widening project begins – The Star-Ledger
A much needed widening project along the New Jersey Turnpike is finally underway.
The project will expand six lanes to 12, between Exits 6 and 8A and will add two lanes to the 10 between 8A to Exit 9. Car and truck traffic will be separated, and the expansion is expected to ease one of the more crowded roadways in the region, currently used by an average of 680,000 drivers each day.
“On any given Friday that merge can back up 10 miles,” said Gutierrez-Scaccetti, “On a holiday it can back up for 12.”
Officials at the Turnpike Authority say the expansion is the most ambitious in the history of the 58-year-old highway. It is part of a larger, $7 billion capital plan announced earlier this year by Corzine that also includes a widening of the Garden State Parkway.
Basically, this extends the dual-dual lane configuration all the way to the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange (technically the Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension). Left unsaid in the article is the realignment of Interstate 95 onto the far eastern end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to meet the mainline NJ Turnpike at interchange 6. That project, which was mandated by Congress in 1982 after the Somerset Freeway was canceled between Trenton and Edison, will finally complete I-95. By the way, back when I was an underclassman in college, I exchanged a few emails with the lead project engineer on the Pennsylvania project and they are now just getting close to getting shovels in the ground. He acknowledged they were not thrilled about having to build this interchange because NJ didn’t build 30 miles of I-95. I can see their point, but they should have built a direct connection there anyway.
Also, I have not confirmed, but suspect that a redesigned interchange 8 near Hightstown will mean a connection to NJ 133 instead of NJ 33.
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