Amped-up traffic signs imminent for NJ expressways

Turnpike, Garden State Parkway will get new, high-tech signs to replace the aging status quo

November 01, 2011

The New Jersey Turnpike is getting some flashy new traffic information signs to replace the outdated ones, which in some cases have been around since the Turnpike’s inception in the 1950s, according to the Asbury Park Press.

New Jersey Turnpike Authority commissioners approved two contracts last Tuesday totaling $31.63 million to replace 53 of the aging signs with high-tech signs with better graphics that can provide more information to drivers.

Many of the flashing, red neon Turnpike signs that advise drivers to “reduce speed” or warn them of construction or bad weather were part of the original Turnpike construction in the 1950s, but are very limited in the information they can convey, said Rob Fischer, authority assistant chief engineer.

Other greenish-yellow-lettered dot matrix signs on the Garden State Parkway were installed in the 1990s and also are limited in how much information they can display, he said.

In addition to giving drivers more information with improved graphics, they can even reproduce detailed images of road signs, such as interstate highway route signs, Fischer said.

Both contracts for the signs were awarded to PKF Mark III Inc. of Newton, Pa., which submitted the lowest bid for the work. Both contracts are under the authority engineer’s estimates of the costs.

The first contract for $21.653 million would replace 24 neon signs on the Turnpike between Elizabeth and Fort Lee and dot-matrix signs on the Parkway between Wall and Newark. That work is scheduled to start next month and be completed by November 2013.

The second contract of $9.985 million would replace 29 signs on the Parkway between Tinton Falls and Middle Township in Cape May County. That work is scheduled to start next January and be completed by the end of June 2013.

Work done under the contracts includes removing the old signs and support structures, building new foundations and overhead structures, installing the new signs, electrical and other work, Fischer said.

“These contracts are for installing the signs purchased and installing the structures purchased under another contract,” he said.

All the new signs will be wired into the statewide Traffic Management Center in Woodbridge.

The Authority commissioners also approved a $2.36 million contract with Bergen County-based M&J Engineering PC of Closter to supervise the sign construction.

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