New Jersey Turnpike

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New Jersey Turnpike marker

New Jersey Turnpike
Route information
Maintained by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority
Length: 122.40 mi[4][2] (196.98 km)
11.03 mi (17.75 km)—Western Spur[1]
6.55 mi (10.54 km)—Pennsylvania Extension[2]
8.17 mi (13.1 km)—Newark Bay Extension[3]
Existed: 1951 – present
Component
highways:
Major junctions
South end: I‑295 / US 40 in Pennsville Township
  I-95.svgPennsylvania Turnpike logo.svg I-95 / Penna Tpk. in Mansfield Township
I‑195 in Robbinsville Township
Route 18 in East Brunswick Township
I‑287 / Route 440 in Edison Township
G.S. Pkwy. / US 9 in Woodbridge Township
I‑278 in Linden/Elizabeth
I‑78 in Newark
I‑280 in Kearny
Route 495 in Secaucus
I‑80 in Teaneck Township
North end: I‑95 / US 1-9 / US 46 in Fort Lee
Highway system
I-695 700 I-895
I-95 100 Route 101
I-295 300 Route 303
This article is about the modern toll highway. For the 19th century turnpike, see Jersey Turnpike.

The New Jersey Turnpike (shortened to NJTP and colloquially known to New Jerseyans as "the Turnpike"[5]) is a toll road in New Jersey, maintained by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. According to the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, the Turnpike is the nation's sixth-busiest toll road and is one of the most heavily traveled highways in the United States.[6] Having a total of 122.40 mi (196.98 km), the Turnpike's southern terminus begins at Interstate 295 (I-295) near the border of Pennsville and Carneys Point Townships in Salem County, one mile east of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Its northern terminus is located at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, Bergen County. The Turnpike is a major thoroughfare providing access to various localities in New Jersey, as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York.[7] The route divides into four roadways at exit 8A, with lanes restricted to carrying only cars, and with lanes for cars, trucks and buses.

The northern part of the mainline turnpike, along with the entirety of its extensions and spurs, is part of the Interstate Highway System, designated as Interstate 95 (I-95) between exit 6 and its northern end. South of exit 6, it has the unsigned Route 700 designation. There are two extensions and two spurs, including the Newark Bay Extension, which carries Interstate 78 (I-78); the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension (officially the Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension); the Eastern Spur and the Western Spur. Construction of the mainline from conceptualization to completion took 23 months, from 1950 to 1952. It was officially opened to traffic in November 1951, between its southern terminus and exit 10.[8]

The Turnpike has 12-foot-wide (3.7 m) lanes, 10-foot-wide (3.0 m) shoulders, 13 rest areas named after notable residents of New Jersey, and unusual exit signage that was considered the pinnacle of highway building in the 1950s. The Interstate Highway System took some of its design guidelines by copying the Turnpike's design guidelines.[5] To some degree, the Turnpike is considered iconic in pop culture, having been referenced in music, film and television.

Route description[edit]

Time-lapse video of a southbound trip on the New Jersey Turnpike
Changeable signage in the northbound cars-only lanes for the split into the Eastern and Western Spurs
Aerial view of exit 8 of the New Jersey Turnpike near Hightstown prior to its 2009-2013 reconstruction, facing south

The main road of the New Jersey Turnpike splits from I-295 in Carneys Point Township and runs a north-northeast route to Ridgefield Park, where the road continues as I-95. It is designated Route 700, an unsigned route, from exit 1 (Delaware Memorial Bridge) to exit 6, and as I-95 from exit 6 (Mansfield Township) to exit 18 (Secaucus/Carlstadt). The number of lanes ranges from 4 lanes south of exit 4 (Mount Laurel Township), 6 lanes between exit 4 and exit 8A (Monroe Township), 10 lanes between exit 8A and exit 9 (East Brunswick), 12 lanes between exit 9 and exit 11 (Woodbridge Township), and 14 lanes between exit 11 and exit 14 (Newark).

Before the advent of the Interstate Highways, the entire Turnpike was designated by the New Jersey Department of Transportation as Route 700, with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension being Route 700P and the Newark Bay Hudson County Extension being Route 700N. None of these state highway designations have ever been signed.

View south along the turnpike from a plane landing at Newark Airport

Beginning just south of exit 8A, the Turnpike splits into a "dual-dual" configuration similar to a local-express configuration, with the outer lanes open to all vehicles and the inner lanes limited to cars only, unless signed otherwise because of unusual conditions. Specifically, starting in Monroe Township (going north), the Turnpike has a total of 10 lanes, 5 in each direction (2-3-3-2). From East Brunswick, the Turnpike has a total of 12 lanes, 6 in each direction (3-3-3-3). From Woodbridge Township to Newark, High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes exist on the outer roadway (outer truck lanes), thereby making it 7 lanes in each direction (4-3-3-4). The HOV lanes are in effect on weekdays, from 6:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. northbound, and 4 p.m.–7 p.m. southbound (at times, the Turnpike Authority might suspend the HOV restrictions entirely during peak hours in case of unusual conditions).[9]

North of exit 14, the Turnpike splits into two spurs: the Eastern Spur (the original roadway) and the Western Spur (opened in 1970). Both spurs are signed as I-95. The Western Spur is posted for through traffic on I-95 seeking Interstate 280 (I-280), the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and the George Washington Bridge. Traffic seeking U.S. Route 46 (U.S. 46), Interstate 80 (I-80), and the Lincoln Tunnel is routed via the Eastern Spur. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), which calls every class of highway Route, calls the Western Spur Route 95W. The complex series of roadways and ramps linking the car/truck lanes, the two spurs, as well as traffic heading to and from both exit 14 and the Newark Bay Extension is referred to by the Turnpike Authority as the "Southern Mixing Bowl".[10]

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 flies very low over the Turnpike, just north of Newark Liberty International Airport.

The Turnpike also has two extensions; the first, the Newark Bay Extension, at 8.2-mile (13 km), was opened in 1956 and is a part of I-78. It connects Newark with Lower Manhattan via the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City and intersects the mainline near Newark Liberty International Airport. This extension contains three exits (exits 14A, 14B, and 14C) and due to its design (four lanes with a shoulderless Jersey barrier divider), it has a 50 mph (80 km/h) speed limit.

The second extension, known as the Pearl Harbor Extension, connects the mainline of the New Jersey Turnpike at exit 6 with the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A 6-mile (10 km) long six-lane highway, it not only connects the Pennsylvania Turnpike with the mainline, but also has an exit, designated as 6A, to U.S. Route 130 (U.S. 130) near Florence. It was formerly designated as Route 700P, but is currently designated I-95 in anticipation of the completion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project in 2017.[11]

A 4-mile (6 km) stretch of I-95 north of U.S. 46 came under Turnpike Authority jurisdiction in 1992, as NJDOT sold the road in order to balance the state budget. This section of the road travels past the interchange for I-80 and through a cut in the Hudson Palisades at GWB Plaza. This portion of the Turnpike is also "dual-dual", split into local and express lanes, as it approaches the George Washington Bridge.

A section of the Turnpike and the surrounding land in Elizabeth and Newark, New Jersey has been called "the most dangerous two miles in America" by New Jersey Homeland Security officials due to the high volume of traffic in conjunction with the density of potential terrorist targets in the surrounding area.[12]

Bridges[edit]

New York City from the New Jersey Turnpike

A number of bridges are included as part of the New Jersey Turnpike:

  • The Basilone Bridge spans the Raritan River, connecting Edison on the north with New Brunswick on the south.
  • The Newark Bay Bridge (officially the Vincent R. Casciano Memorial Bridge) is a steel cantilever bridge spanning Newark Bay and connecting Newark and Bayonne. It was completed April 4, 1956, as part of the Turnpike's Newark Bay Extension.
  • The Chaplain Washington Bridge and the Harry Laderman Bridge are steel girder spans that carry the Turnpike's eastern and western spurs, respectively, over the Passaic River at Newark.
  • The Lewandowski Hackensack River Bridge carrying the Eastern Spur over the Hackensack River was named in honor of the three Lewandowski brothers, who were killed in action during World War II within 18 months of each other.
  • The Luke A. Lovely Memorial Bridge carries the Turnpike over the Rahway River immediately north of exit 12. Luke Lovely was the first soldier from New Jersey to die in World War I. He died on November 30, 1917 near Cambrai, France.

Tolls[edit]

A toll ticket received at exit 15W in 2008
A New Jersey Turnpike Tollgate for exit 8A in Monroe Township
An older version VMS sign displaying a warning about road construction ahead. These signs are currently being replaced.
An updated VMS sign in 2011

The New Jersey Turnpike is a closed-system toll road, using a system of long-distance tickets, obtained once by a motorist upon entering and surrendered upon exiting at toll gates. The toll gates exist at all exits and entrances. The toll fee depends on the distance traveled between entrance and exit, and longer distances result in higher tolls. As of 2013, the automobile toll from exit 1 to exit 18 is $13.85. If the ticket is lost, one must pay the highest toll fee upon exiting. In September 2000, the Turnpike introduced E-ZPass electronic toll collection.[13] Discounts were available to all users of the E-ZPass system until 2002. Since then, the costly implementation of the E-ZPass system forced the Turnpike Authority to eliminate the discounts during peak hours, and instead impose a $1 per month E-ZPass fee to their account holders. E-ZPass customers with NJ accounts still receive a discount during off-peak hours,[14] when the automobile toll from exit 1 to exit 18 is $10.40. Cash customers do not receive this discount.[15] Express E-ZPass implementation is underway, allowing E-ZPass customers at some of the toll plazas to travel through toll areas at highway speeds, via the addition of E-ZPass sensors on an overhead gantry. One of these high-speed toll gates is located at the northern terminus of the road, as southbound I-95 traffic enters the Turnpike. The newest one is located at the southern terminus in Carneys Point. There is also a high-speed E-ZPass entry point on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension. At each location, traditional E-ZPass and cash lanes are also available. As of 2011, every toll lane on the Turnpike accepts E-ZPass.

When traveling from the North, users who exit from the southbound Western Spur onto the ramp for dedicated access to the Meadowlands Sports Complex pay no toll, but the Turnpike Authority counts cars electronically and is paid a fee for each vehicle by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

The non-tolled I-295, which parallels the Turnpike for much of its southern length, is often used as an alternate route for shunpiking by locals and through travelers alike; prior to the expansion of the exit 1 toll plaza, this route was promoted through signage and radio announcements from the New Jersey State Police as a bypass of summer congestion at the plaza.

On January 8, 2008, Governor Jon Corzine proposed a 50 percent increase in tolls on New Jersey's three toll roads in 2010, with increases of a similar percentage every four years after that, in order to help pay state debt. Each times tolls increased, there would be an additional increase for inflation since the last toll increase (for the first, since 2006). The roads would be maintained by a nonprofit corporation that would pay back bonds to the state. Under this plan, and without considering the inflation increases, tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike would have risen from $6.45 to $42.92 in 2022.[16] It was considered possible that commuters will receive discounts from the higher toll rates.[17] The plan, however, was not enacted due to mounting opposition from New Jersey residents. On September 5, 2008, a proposal to increase Turnpike tolls substantially was reported.[18] On December 1, 2008, the first phase of the toll hike went into effect.[19] On January 1, 2012, the second phase of the toll hike went into effect.

Speed limits[edit]

The minimum speed limit for all zones on the Turnpike is 10 mph (16 km/h) below the maximum speed limit. Between the southern terminus and milepost 97.2, the maximum speed limit is 65 mph (105 km/h) with a minimum speed of 55 mph (89 km/h), for example. The speed limit was previously lowered to 55 mph on the Turnpike when Congress passed the National Maximum Speed Law in 1973. In late 1997, the New Jersey Legislature acted to raise the 55 mph speed limit to 65 mph on the Turnpike, along with the Garden State Parkway, the Atlantic City Expressway, Interstate highways, and other freeways that had a 55 mph speed limit.[20]

Services[edit]

Rest areas[edit]

The John Fenwick Service Area, one of many long-standing rest areas along the Turnpike

The New Jersey Turnpike is noted for naming its rest areas after people who lived or worked in New Jersey. From south to north, the rest areas are:

Turnpike rest areas consist of mostly fast food restaurants. Each rest area also includes a gas station with a small convenience store, with gas price signs posted about half a mile before reaching the rest area. Each rest stop has a separate parking area for cars and trucks and some have a dedicated bus parking area as well.

There was a service area on the northbound side where exit 13A is located, before it opened in 1982. The service area usage overlapped the existence of exit 13A (where northbound drivers who took exit 13A missed the service area, and vice versa) but is no longer in existence. Today, it can be seen by motorists when exiting at 13A from the northbound car lanes since there is a temporary concrete barrier that is obstructing an open asphalt lot.[21] The plaza was named for Admiral William Halsey.[22]

Also, two service plazas were located on the Newark Bay Extension (one eastbound and one westbound) located west of exit 14B. These were closed in the early 1970s. The eastbound plaza was named for John Stevens and the westbound plaza was named for Peter Stuyvesant.[23]

In late March 2010, it was revealed that the state Transportation Commissioner was considering selling the naming rights of the rest areas to help address a budget shortfall.[24]

The Grover Cleveland Service Area in Woodbridge is temporary closed due to storm damage from Hurricane Sandy, with only fuel available.[25]

Emergency assistance[edit]

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority offers 12-foot-wide (3.7 m) shoulders wherever possible, and disabled vehicle service may be obtained by dialing #95 on a cellular phone.

Headquarters and operations facilities[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the 1999 film Being John Malkovich, Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is dropped in a ditch beside the New Jersey Turnpike.[26]
  • In "The State Dinner", a 1999 episode of The West Wing, Leo McGarry responds to a truckers union representative, after the latter uses inappropriate language, by saying "This is the White House, it's not the Jersey Turnpike."[27]
  • Much of the opening credits of The Sopranos consists of shots of or from the New Jersey Turnpike in the areas of exits 13, 14-14C, and 15W.[28]
  • Bruce Springsteen's song "State Trooper", describes someone driving the New Jersey Turnpike.[29]
  • Simon and Garfunkel's song "America" contains the lyric, "counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike."[7]
  • Chuck Berry's 1956 song "You Can't Catch Me" features the lyrics "New Jersey Turnpike in the / wee wee hours I was / rolling slowly 'cause of / drizzlin' showers."
  • The Dead Milkmen's 1986 album Eat Your Paisley contains the instrumental song "Vince Lombardi Service Center" as a bonus track on the CD.[30]
  • In Need for Speed: The Run, a racing event starts on the Newark Bay Extension on exit 14B just before going into Jersey City and Liberty State Park. That ends in the Holland Tunnel as the driver (who is the player of that game) gets chased by the Police while getting into New York City.[31]

History[edit]

NJ 100 (cutout).svg
NJ 300 (cutout).svg

Route 100 and Route 300 were two state highways proposed in the 1930s by the New Jersey Department of Transportation as precursors to the New Jersey Turnpike.

The road that is now the New Jersey Turnpike was first planned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (then known as the State Highway Department) as two untolled freeways in 1938. Route 100 was the route from New Brunswick to the George Washington Bridge, plus a spur to the Holland Tunnel (now the Newark Bay Extension of the Turnpike). Route 300 was the southern part of Turnpike from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to New Brunswick. However, NJDOT did not have the funds to complete the two freeways, and very little of the road was built under its auspices.[32][33] Instead, in 1948, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was created to build the road, and the two freeways were built as a single toll road.

Route S100 was a proposed spur of Route 100 in Elizabeth. It was never built, although Route 81 follows a similar alignment.

Hackensack Run bridge under construction in 1951

According to a letter to the editor written by the daughter of Paul L. Troast, the first chairman of the NJ Turnpike Authority, Kathleen Troast Pitney:

Governor Driscoll appointed three men to the Turnpike Authority in the late 1940s—Maxwell Lester, George Smith and Paul Troast, my father, as chairman. They had no enabling legislation and no funding. They were able to open more than two-thirds of the road in 11 months, completing the whole (project) in less than two years... When the commissioners broached the subject of landscaping the road... the governor told them he wanted a road to take the interstate traffic ... off New Jersey's existing roads. Since 85 percent of the traffic at that time was estimated to be from out of state, why spend additional funds on landscaping?[34]

A brochure "Interesting Facts about the New Jersey Turnpike," dating from soon after the road's opening, states that when the Turnpike's bonds are paid off, "The law provides that the Turnpike be turned over to the State for inclusion in the public highway system." Due to new construction, and the expectation that the Turnpike pay for policing and maintenance, this has never come to pass.

The task of building the Turnpike was not an easy one. One major problem was the construction in the city of Elizabeth, where either 450 homes or 32 businesses would be destroyed, depending on the chosen route. The engineers decided to go through the residential area, since they considered it the grittiest and the closest route to both Newark Airport and the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal seaport.

NJ Turnpike passes the swampy Meadowlands, near New York City

When construction finally got to Newark, there was a new challenge: deciding to build either over or under the Pulaski Skyway. If construction went above the Skyway, the costs would be much higher. If they went under, the costs would be lower, but the roadway would be very close to the Passaic River, making it harder for ships to pass through. The Turnpike was ultimately built to pass under.[35][36] As part of a 2005 seismic retrofit project, the Turnpike Authority lowered its roadway to increase vertical clearance and allow for full-width shoulders, which had been constrained by the location of the skyway supports.[37] Engineers replaced the bearings and lowered the bridge by four feet (1.2 m), without shutting down traffic. The work was carried out under a $35 million contract in 2004 by Koch Skanska of Carteret, New Jersey. The engineers for the project were from a joint venture of Dewberry Goodking Inc. and HNTM Corp. Temporary towers were used to support the bridge while bearings were removed from each of the 150 piers and the concrete replaced on the pier tops. The lowering process for an 800-foot (240 m) section of the bridge was done over 56 increments, during five weeks of work.[38]

While continuing up to the New Jersey Meadowlands, the crossings were harder because of the fertile marsh land of silt and mud. Near the shallow mud, the mud was filled with crushed stone, and the roadway was built above the water table. In the deeper mud, caissons were sunk down to a firm stratum and filled with sand, then both the caissons and the surrounding areas were covered with blankets of sand. Gradually, the water was brought up, and drained into adjacent meadows. Then, the construction of the two major bridges over the Passaic River and Hackensack River were completed. The bridges were built to give motorists a clear view of the New York City skyline, but with high retaining walls to create the illusion of not being on a river crossing.[22] The 6,955 ft (2,120 m) Passaic River (Chaplain Washington) Bridge cost $13.7 million to construct and the 5,623 ft (1,714 m) Hackensack River Bridge cost $9.5 million.

NJ Turnpike southbound just south of exit 13 in Linden, New Jersey

After the Turnpike was built in 1952, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the New York State Thruway Authority proposed a 13-mile (21 km) extension of the New Jersey Turnpike that would go from its end (at U.S. 46 in Ridgefield Park at the time) up to West Nyack, New York at Interstate 87 (I-87), the New York State Thruway. The portion through New Jersey was to be constructed and maintained by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, while the portion in New York was to be built and maintained by the New York Thruway Authority.

The purpose of this extension was to give motorists a "more direct bypass of the New York City area" to New England, by using the Tappan Zee Bridge. The extension was to parallel NY Route 303 and the present-day CSX River Line, and have limited interchanges. It was to have an interchange with the Palisades Interstate Parkway and at I-87/New York State Thruway in West Nyack. This project did not survive; by 1970, it became too expensive to buy right-of-way access, and community opposition was fierce. Therefore the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the New York State Thruway Authority cancelled the project.[22]

With the Turnpike completed, traffic began to increase, which prompted the Turnpike Authority's first widening project. In 1955, the Authority proposed two widening projects:

  • From four lanes to six lanes (three in each direction) between exit 4 in Mount Laurel Township and exit 10 in Woodbridge Township
  • From four lanes to an eight lane ‘dual-dual’ setup (2-2-2-2, two express carriageways and two local carriageways in each direction) between exit 10 and exit 14 in Newark
Approaching the exit 11 tollbooths at night in 1992, in the days before E-ZPass

In 1966, the Turnpike was widened between exit 10 and exit 14 under a new expansion plan. This abolished the ‘express-local’ roadway plan and created the car and truck-buses lane configuration (3-3-3-3). This project also included closing the old exit 10 at Woodbridge and replacing it with a new exit 10 in Edison Township; exit 11 was also rebuilt to provide complete access to the Garden State Parkway. This dual-dual setup was widened south to exit 9 in East Brunswick Township in 1973, and extended again further south in 1990 to exit 8A in Monroe Township.[22] The widening between exit 8A-9 created some problems in the East Brunswick area in the late 1980s during the proposed widening from six to twelve lanes. Analysis of noise (Shadely, 1973) and air quality impacts were made in a lawsuit decided in New Jersey Superior Court. This case in the early 1970s was one of the early U.S. examples of environmental scientists playing a role in the design of a major highway. The computer models allowed the court to understand the effects of roadway geometry (width in this case), vehicle speeds, proposed noise barriers, residential setback and pavement types. The outcome was a compromise that involved substantial mitigation of noise pollution and air pollution impacts.

The New Jersey Turnpike smog accident was a series of roadway accidents that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike in the town of Kearny, on October 23 and 24, 1973. The first collision occurred at 11:20 PM EDT on the 23rd, and further accidents continued to occur until 2:45 AM the next day as cars plowed into the unseen accident ahead of them. Sixty-six vehicles were involved and nine people died as a result. Thirty-nine suffered non-fatal injuries.

The primary cause of the accident was related to a fire consisting of burning garbage, aggravated by foggy conditions.[39] This produced an area of extremely poor visibility.

In 1971, the Turnpike Authority proposed to build the Alfred E. Driscoll Expressway. It was to start at the Garden State Parkway south of exit 80 in Dover Township (now Toms River) and end at the Turnpike approximately 3 miles north of exit 8A in South Brunswick. As a proposed part of the Turnpike system, its seven interchanges would have included toll plazas except at the northern end at the Turnpike. By 1972, the proposed road met fierce opposition from Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex counties with quality of life being the main concern. The Turnpike Authority proceeded anyway by selling bonds. But by December 1973, the proposal was hit hard when governor-elect Brendan Byrne decided to stop the project altogether. Despite this, the Authority continued with its plan. It wasn't until February 1977, that the Authority ended its plan to build the road.[40] The rights-of-way were sold in 1979, indefinitely shelving the project.[41]

Map of New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway

In January 2004, the Authority opened up the refurbished 18W toll gate in Carlstadt. The refurbishment includes two E-ZPass Express Lanes in both directions. In July 2004, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority opened the new exit 1 toll gate in Carney's Point Township. The new 23-lane toll gate is near milepost 2.4, featuring a glass-enclosed overhead walkway for toll collectors, including "a concrete lighthouse to serve as a 'gateway' to the state as well as to the Turnpike".[22] The toll gate features 5 lanes heading north, 14 lanes heading south, and two "E-ZPass Express" Lanes in both directions.

In 2005, the Authority opened exit 15X to allow access to the newly built Secaucus Junction train station.[42]

In February 2006, the Authority updated exit 8A in Monroe Township. The former exit ramp that allowed traffic onto Route 32 westbound, has been closed off. Instead, a new ramp leads to a traffic light at the intersection of the ramp and County Route 535 in South Brunswick Township. Route 535 was expanded between the new ramp intersection and Route 32.

The Authority planned to build Route 92, a west–east spur from U.S. Route 1 (U.S. 1) & Ridge Road in the township of South Brunswick to the mainline of the Turnpike at exit 8A in Monroe Township. This proposition was cancelled on December 1, 2006.[43]

The Turnpike Authority reconfigured exit 12 in the Borough of Carteret to reduce truck traffic. A new grade separated interchange-ramp was constructed from Roosevelt Ave east and connects to the toll gate. In addition, the 7-lane toll gate was demolished and replaced with a new 17-lane one. This project was completed in April 2010, five to six months behind schedule.[44]

The Authority lowered the Eastern Spur (between 107.3 to 107.5 in Newark). The lowered spur now consists of a minimum 15-foot (4.6 m) vertical clearance and a 12-foot (3.7 m) horizontal clearance on the shoulders underneath the Pulaski Skyway (U.S. Routes 1/9).[22]

The Authority rebuilt exit 16W in the Borough of East Rutherford. Various new ramps were built and various old ones were destroyed. One major modification was destroying the old ramp from the tollgate to Route 3 west, and having a new ramp swing around in the opposite direction and merge with Route 3 west, thereby completing the "double trumpet-like" interchange. This project was completed by March 2010.[45]

Throughout the 2000s, the Turnpike made repairs to several bridge decks, including the bridge crossing the Rancocas Creek, which was resurfaced in 2007.[46]

A Cessna 152 monitoring traffic made an emergency landing on the Turnpike in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on February 1, 2010.[47][48]

On March 5, 2011, the Turnpike Authority began accepting E-Z Pass on all toll lanes at all of the Turnpike interchanges.[49]

On April 28, 2011, attempts to privatize toll collection on the New Jersey Turnpike were thwarted as a deal was made between the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and two unions to instead reduce toll collector salaries.[50]

The Authority reconstructed the Route 495 westbound overpass across the Turnpike at exit 16E in Secaucus. This was finished in Summer 2011.[51]

Safety improvements were made at exit 2 in Woolwich Township. The Authority installed a traffic signal at the entrance to the Turnpike with U.S. Route 322. In addition, the intersection was widened with turn lanes on all approaches. Construction was complete in late 2012.[52][53]

Future[edit]

Due to traffic congestion outside exit 8A, the Turnpike Authority plans to improve Route 32 from its intersection at U.S. 130 in South Brunswick to the exit 8A tollgate in Monroe Township. Named the Interchange 8A to Route 130 Connection, plans and dates have yet to be determined.[54]

The Turnpike Authority plans to widen Route 18 and reconstruct all the associated ramps at exit 9 (except the ramp to Route 18 north) in East Brunswick Township. This is all in part to reduce congestion on Route 18. This is planned to start in late 2012 and take about two years to complete.[55][56]

The Authority is constructing a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) connector, called the "Tremely Point Road Connector," between Industrial Way in the Borough of Carteret to Tremely Point Road in the City of Linden. The purpose of this connector is to "help meet the fast-growing commercial needs of the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region and ensure the continued efficiency and competitiveness of the numerous cargo loading/unloading facilities that operate within the Port of New York and New Jersey (Port)".[57] The estimated completion date of the connector has yet to be determined.[58]

With the Port Authority of NY and NJ planning to replace the Goethals Bridge, improvements are being studied at exit 13 in Elizabeth and Linden.[59]

The Authority plans to improve exit 14A in Jersey City and connecting roads in Bayonne since the current interchange is in "poor condition" and suffers from chronic congestion. This is part of a bigger project that addresses future congestion along Route 440. Plans and dates have yet to be announced.[60]

All of the original variable message signs are being replaced from 2010 to 2015. In addition many new signs will be added as well. The replacement signs, which will feature full graphic color matrix technology, will be more up to date, easier to read, and will feature travel times to major routes when not otherwise in use.[61]

Widening between interchanges 6 and 9[edit]

Widening of the Turnpike as seen in Robbinsville in 2012 (top) and 2014 (bottom)
Three proposals for new exit 8 in East Windsor. Alternative 1 was chosen (with a few changes)

In November 2004, New Jersey Governor Richard Codey advocated a plan to widen the Turnpike by extending the dual-dual configuration 20.1 miles (32.3 km) south from exit 8A in Monroe Township to exit 6 in Mansfield Township by 2014, when the Pennsylvania Turnpike is supposed to complete an interchange that will connect its road to the existing I-95 in Bristol Township, Pennsylvania. Finances would be supplied by rerouting money from the planned Route 92 Turnpike extension. Overpasses are already being reconstructed to be compatible with a wider Turnpike.[62] As part of this project, the Turnpike Authority plans to expand the Turnpike by changing the current dual-dual configuration (from 2-3-3-2 to 3-3-3-3) between exit 9 in East Brunswick Township and exit 8A in Monroe Township. Minimal construction is needed since overpasses were built with future expansion in mind and only final preparation and paving of an outer lane in the outer roadways is required to accommodate the extra lane. New signage and lighting will be implemented during the widening project. Some transmission towers that run near the Turnpike may be reconfigured to make room for the newly constructed roadways.[63]

According to Turnpike documentation, the widened Turnpike would feature six lanes in each direction (3-3-3-3).[64] The following interchanges will be upgraded with this widening project: exit 6 (Mansfield), exit 7 (Bordentown), exit 7A (Robbinsville Township), exit 8 (East Windsor Township), and exit 8A (Monroe Township). Plans also include adding a lane in each direction of the Turnpike between exits 8A and 9.[65]

On July 2, 2009, a ceremonial groundbreaking took place near exit 8 to initiate the widening of the Turnpike.[66]

The last construction contract was awarded on February 28, 2012, one of the 23 contracts part of the widening project. On May 17-18, 2014, the Turnpike Authority switched traffic from the inner roadway for the new outer roadway in order to do repairs and resurfacing of the inner roadway.[67] The Turnpike Authority anticipates the construction project will be complete by Thanksgiving of 2014.[68]

Project outline
Exit Interchange/Toll Gate Location Mile Ramp
Modifications
Expansion to toll gate Notes Start of Construction
6 Mansfield Township 50.9 Build two lane high speed ramps to/from inner & outer roadways No Future start of "dual–dual" setup Fall 2009
7 Bordentown Township 53.7 Build single lane ramps to/from inner & outer roadways No Summer 2009
6N & 6S Hamilton Township 57.8 Build single lane inner & outer roadway exit/entrance ramps Woodrow Wilson Service Area (6N) & Richard Stockton Service Area (6S) Fall 2009
7A Robbinsville Township 60.5 Build new ramps to inner & outer roadways Yes—add 3 more lanes to gate Two-lane ramps to be built to enter northbound lanes & exit southbound lanes and single lane ramps to enter southbound lanes & exit northbound lanes Summer 2009
8 East Windsor Township 67.6 Build new interchange with single lane ramps to/from inner & outer roadways, and ramp to maintenance shed Yes—new 12-lane toll gate New exit 8 will be constructed east of the Turnpike, connecting directly to the Hightstown Bypass and NJ 33 Summer 2009
7S Cranbury Township 71.5 Build single-lane southbound ramps to/from inner & outer roadways Molly Pitcher Service Area on the southbound side Winter 2010
8A South Brunswick/Monroe Township 73.9 Build single-lane entrance ramp to southbound inner car lanes No Winter 2010

On January 1, 2007, the Turnpike Authority released its plan for exit 8 in East Windsor Township. The current interchange will be demolished and replaced with a brand new interchange, located to the east of the Turnpike (currently located west of the Turnpike). The new interchange configuration opened in January 2013, featuring a new toll plaza that consists of 10 lanes, with direct access to the Hightstown Bypass (Route 133) (without going through any traffic lights), as well as to Route 33 by using a grade separated interchange.[69] Construction of a realigned Milford Road, near the interchange, was open to traffic in October 2011.[70] Milford Road was converted into an overpass crossing over the new interchange 8 ramp. The junction with the realigned Milford Road, Route 33 and Monmouth Street was also modified.[71]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[4][2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Salem Pennsville Township 0.00 0.00 I‑295 south / US 40 west – Delaware Memorial Bridge Opened November 5, 1951; southbound exit and northbound entrance
Carneys Point Township 1.12 1.80 US 40 east / Route 140 / CR 540 – Penns Grove, Deepwater, Atlantic City North end of US 40 overlap
2.4 3.9 Exit 1 Toll Plaza (Delaware Memorial Bridge)
Gloucester Woolwich Township 12.8 20.6 2 US 322 (CR 536) – Swedesboro, Glassboro Opened November 5, 1951
Camden RunnemedeBellmawr borough line 26.1 42.0 3 Route 168 – Camden, Atlantic City Expressway Opened November 5, 1951
Burlington Mount Laurel Township 34.5 55.5 4 Route 73 – Mount Laurel, Camden, Philadelphia Opened November 5, 1951
Westampton Township 44.1 71.0 5 Burlington, Mount Holly (CR 541) Opened November 5, 1951
Mansfield Township 48.0 77.2 Southern end of dual-dual set up; inner roadway for cars only and outer roadway for cars-trucks-buses beginning in late November 2014
51.0–
51.6
82.1–
83.0
6 I‑276 west – Pennsylvania Turnpike Opened May 25, 1956; eastern terminus of Pennsylvania Extension; southern end of unsigned I-95 concurrency (will be signed once upgrade work is completed)
Florence Township 2.6 4.2 6A US 130 – Burlington, Bordentown, Florence Opened May 25, 1956; on the Pennsylvania Extension; partial exit originally opened on September 6, 1964 was converted to a full exit in 1998-99;[72] toll plaza at southbound entrance
Burlington Bordentown Township 53.3 85.8 7 US 206 – Bordentown, Trenton Originally opened November 30, 1951; present-day ramps opened in 1990[22]
Mercer Robbinsville Township 60.5 97.4 7A I‑195 – Trenton, Hamilton, Shore Points Opened in the 1970s
East Windsor Township 67.5 108.6 8 Route 133 west to Route 33 – Hightstown, Freehold Originally opened November 30, 1951; new interchange configuration connecting to Route 133 opened February 2013
Middlesex Cranbury Township 72.8 117.2 Southern end of dual-dual set up; inner roadway for cars only and outer roadway for cars-trucks-buses
Monroe Township 73.9 118.9 8A Route 32 to US 130 – Jamesburg, Cranbury, South Brunswick, Monroe Opened February 14, 1966[72]
East Brunswick Township 83.4 134.2 9 Route 18 (CR 527) / US 1 – New Brunswick, East Brunswick Opened November 30, 1951
Raritan River 84.22 135.54 Basilone Bridge
Edison Township 88.1 141.8 10 I‑287 north / Route 440 north (CR 514) – Perth Amboy, Metuchen, Edison, Outerbridge Crossing Originally opened November 30, 1951 to connect with the Garden State Parkway (access provided only from Turnpike northbound to parkway northbound and from parkway southbound to Turnpike southbound); new interchange built in 1966 to connect with I-287 and Route 440; southern terminus of I-287 and Route 440
Woodbridge Township 91.0 146.5 11 G.S. Pkwy. / US 9 – Woodbridge, Shore Points Originally opened November 30, 1951 to connect with US 9; interchange rebuilt in 1966 to also connect with the Garden State Parkway; no trucks allowed on Garden State Parkway
Carteret 95.9 154.3 12 Carteret, Rahway (CR 602) Opened December 12, 1951
Union Elizabeth 99.4 160.0 13 I‑278 (Route 439) – Elizabeth, Goethals Bridge, Verrazano Bridge Opened December 12, 1951
101.6 163.5 13A Elizabeth, Newark Airport, Elizabeth Seaport (Route 81 north) Opened in 1982
Essex Newark 104.7 168.5 14 I‑78 to US 1-9 / US 22 – Newark Airport, Holland Tunnel Opened December 12, 1951; western terminus of the Newark Bay Extension
Hudson Jersey City 3.5 5.6 14A Bayonne (Route 440) Opened April 4, 1956; on the Newark Bay Extension
5.5 8.9 14B Jersey City, Liberty State Park (Bayview Avenue) Opened September 15, 1956; on the Newark Bay Extension
5.9 9.5 14C Holland Tunnel, Liberty Science Center, Light Rail Park-Ride (I-78 east) Opened September 15, 1956; on the Newark Bay Extension
Essex Newark 105.6 169.9 Northern end of dual-dual setup; southern end of Eastern and Western Spurs
106.9 172.0 15E US 1-9 – Newark, Jersey City Opened December 12, 1951; full interchange on the Eastern Spur, southbound exit and northbound entrance on the Western Spur
Hudson Kearny 108.5–
108.8
174.6–
175.1
15W I‑280 west – Newark, Kearny, The Oranges Opened January 1970; full interchange on the Western Spur, southbound exit and northbound entrance on the Eastern Spur
Secaucus 110.8 178.3 15X Secaucus, Secaucus Junction Park-Ride Opened December 1, 2005; on the Eastern Spur
112.3 180.7 Exit 16E/18E Toll Plaza (Lincoln Tunnel/George Washington Bridge)
112.7 181.4 17 Route 3 / Route 495 east – Lincoln Tunnel, Secaucus Opened January 15, 1952; on the Eastern Spur; expanded interchange opened February 25, 1964;[72] signed as exit 16E northbound; northbound entrance is toll-free
Bergen East Rutherford 112.7 181.4 16W Route 3 – Secaucus, Rutherford, Lincoln Tunnel, Meadowlands Sports Complex Opened January 1970; on the Western Spur
Carlstadt 113.8 183.1 Exit 18W Toll Plaza (George Washington Bridge)
Ridgefield Park 117.2–
116.8
188.6–
188.0
Northern end of Eastern and Western Spurs
117.2 188.6 68 US 46 – The Ridgefields, Palisades Park Originally opened January 15, 1952; rebuilt in 1971 to connect I-95 with I-80 and was incorporated as part of turnpike heading towards GWB in 1992; exit number only signed southbound
117.8 189.6 68 Challenger Road Opened 1971; northbound exit only
Southern end of express (upper) lanes and local (lower) lanes
Teaneck Township 119 192 69 I‑80 west to G.S. Pkwy. – Hackensack, Paterson Opened 1971; exit number only signed southbound
119.4 192.2 70 Leonia, Teaneck (CR 56) Opened 1964; signed into exits 70A (Leonia) and 70B (Teaneck) northbound
Englewood 120.9 194.6 71 Broad Avenue – Leonia, Englewood Opened 1964; northbound exit and southbound entrance
Fort Lee 121.5–
121.8
195.5–
196.0
72A Route 4 west – Paramus Opened 1964; southbound exit and northbound entrance
122.4 197.0 72 US 9W north to Palisades Pkwy. / Route 67 – Fort Lee Opened 1964
122.4 197.0 I‑95 north / US 1-9 north / US 46 east to I‑87 – George Washington Bridge, Manhattan Opened 1964; northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff. "Route 95W Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c Staff. "Route 95 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  3. ^ Staff. "Route 78 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Staff. "Route 700 Straight Line Diagram" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b "1940s–1950s Moving and Building". South Brunswick Township. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ Cauchon, Dennis (January 27, 2008). "Drivers to see major toll hikes". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Frassinelli, Mike (October 2, 2011). "Making unexpected stops along the N.J. Turnpike". The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ). Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  8. ^ Blackwell, Jon. "1949: Highway of dreams". The Trentonian. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Hybrid vehicle use in N.J. Turnpike High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to take effect Monday" (Press release). New Jersey Department of Transportation. May 14, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Manual for Traffic Control in Work Zones" (PDF). New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ "PA Turnpike / I-95 Interchange Project". Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  12. ^ Cooper, Anderson (August 15, 2006). "The most dangerous two miles in America". CNN. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved March 27, 2007. 
  13. ^ Ozbay, Kaan; Yanmaz, Ozlem; Holguin-Veras, Jose (April 11–13, 2005). "The New Jersey Turnpike Road Pricing Initiative: Analysis Traffic Impact" (PDF). PIARC Seminar on Road Pricing with Emphasis on Financing, Regulation and Equity. Cancun, Mexico: World Road Association (PIARC). Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ Staff. "Traffic Resources: Toll Rates". New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ Staff. "NJTA- Toll Rate Calculator". New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved October 22, 2007. 
  16. ^ McCoy, Craig R. (January 9, 2008). "Corzine calls for 50% toll increase". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (January 11, 2008). "Corzine: Toll-hike breaks are likely". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ Samuel, Peter (September 5, 2008). "Threatened by debt default New Jersey Turnpike proposes big toll increases". Toll Road News. Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  19. ^ Staff. "NJTA- Proposed Toll Rates". New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  20. ^ "18 Month Study Report on 65 MPH Speed Limit in New Jersey" (Press release). New Jersey Department of Transportation. June 5, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  21. ^ Google Inc. "Interstate 95 and New Jersey Route 81". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.666024,-74.17999&sll=40.508897,-74.373019&sspn=0.733399,0.951949&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&z=17. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
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  24. ^ "New Jersey transportation commissioner considers selling naming rights to NJ Turnpike rest stops". New York Daily News. Associated Press. March 28, 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Travel Resources: Interchanges, Service Areas & Commuter Lots". New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  26. ^ Bernard, Jami (October 29, 1999). "Batty, Brilliant 'John Malkovich' Kafka Meets N.j. Turnpike In The Ultimate Head Trip". The New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ Sorkin, Aaron; Redford, Paul (November 10, 1999). "The State Dinner". The West Wing. Season 1. Episode 7. Event occurs at 8:40. NBC.
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  29. ^ "State Trooper by Bruce Springsteen". brucespringsteen.net. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  30. ^ "The Dead Milkmen; Eat Your Paisley". All Music Guide. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
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  33. ^ "Route 100 under construction". New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 22, 2009. 
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  38. ^ Cho, Aileen (November 29, 2004). "Busy New Jersey Span Gets New Bearings, and Shorter Too". Engineering News-Record. 
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  68. ^ Higgs, Larry (February 29, 2012). "Last big construction contract of New Jersey Turnpike widening project awarded". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  69. ^ Mease, Alyssa. "Part of New NJ Turnpike toll plaza opens at Interchange 8 in East Windsor". The Times of Trenton. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
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  72. ^ a b c "6 Lane Extensions Added". Bulletin Almanac (Philadelphia Bulletin): 227. Retrieved January 3, 2014. "The Lincoln Tunnel Interchange complex, completed Feb. 25, 1964, handles traffic to and from the Lincoln Tunnel. Interchange 6A at Florence was opened Sept. 6, 1964 as a direct access to the toll plaza at interchange 6 on the Pa. Extension. A new Interchange 8A, designated Jamesburg-Cranbury, was opened on Feb. 14, 1966." 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gillespie, Angus Kress; Rockland, Michael Aaron (1989). Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-1466-5. 
  • Shadely, John (1973). Acoustical analysis of the New Jersey Turnpike widening project between Raritan and East Brunswick. Bolt, Beranek and Newman. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing