Traffic volume northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike is expected to increase by nearly 68% by 2032; southbound traffic is forecasted to increase by 92%.
Periodic traffic congestion is already increasing on the turnpike. Population and employment are growing in central New Jersey. Plus, the volume of goods flowing from Port Newark, Port Elizabeth, the Port of New York and New Jersey and Newark Liberty International Airport also is expected to increase.
To handle all the extra traffic, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) is in the process of widening the turnpike from the vicinity of Interchange 6, in Mansfield Township, to just south of Interchange 9, in East Brunswick Township.
NJTA is planning to put $2.2 billion into the widening project. When complete, this widening will provide three additional travel lanes in each direction between Interchange 6 and 8A and one additional lane in each direction between Interchanges 8A and 9 and a new toll plaza at Interchange 8. The Interchange 6 to 9 program is the largest expansion of the New Jersey Turnpike’s capacity since the roadway opened in 1951, adding 170 lane-miles, crossing three counties and 11 municipalities.
The widening will result in a 12-lane dual-dual roadway along the 35 miles between Interchange 6 and Interchange 9. It will consist of three car/truck/bus lanes and three car-only lanes in each direction.
Adding a third lane to the car/truck/bus lanes (outer roadways) of the 10-lane dual-dual roadway between Interchanges 8A and 9 will require adding a new lane to the existing car/truck/bus lanes in each direction for a 10-mile section of the turnpike.
The widening program also plans to improve connections to interchanges and service areas along the turnpike, relocate and expand the Interchange 8 toll plaza and associated ramps and widen the existing Interchange 7A toll plaza.
The widening project is currently spending abut $30 million a month, or $1 million a day. The project remains on schedule for completion in summer 2014. To date, NJTA has completed and opened the third lane northbound on the outer roadway between Interchanges 8A and 9. The authority also has opened several ramps to and from toll plazas, seven newly constructed bridges that carry local roadways over the turnpike and recently completed the new I-195 westbound bridge.
The Interchange 6 to 9 widening program is being fully funded by NJTA. R&B