New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner James Simpson Dec. 10 announced the completion and opening of the new ramp directly linking the Garden State Parkway (GSP) southbound with I-78 eastbound.
“This project provides immense improvements to motorists in this area of New Jersey by creating a simple and efficient connection between two major roadways,” Simpson said.
“An estimated 6,500 motorists a day will benefit from the improved access that this new ramp will provide, meaning less time spent in their cars and less congestion on local roadways.”
The new flyover ramp for the first time allows GSP southbound motorists to directly access destinations to the east along New Jersey’s bustling I-78 corridor, such as Newark Liberty International Airport. Until now, motorists have been forced to exit onto I-78 westbound and use local exits as U-turns to double back onto I-78 eastbound — a maneuver that has resulted in significant delays and traffic congestion during busy travel times.
Completed on budget and almost nine months ahead of schedule, the new ramp is the second major milestone to be reached in the ongoing, $149 million project to improve traffic flow around the interchange of the two superhighways located in Hillside and Union Townships, Union County and Irvington Township, Essex County.
“By providing motorists with these direct connections, NJDOT expects that traffic flow will be improved throughout the entire region, not only on the GSP and I-78, but also on highways such as Route 22 and Route 124 and the county and local roadway systems as well,” Simpson added.
NJDOT also reopened all I-78 westbound Local lanes, as well as the crossover ramp from I-78 westbound Local to Express lanes near milepost 53.
NJDOT awarded the project contract in April 2008, with Gannett Fleming Engineers serving as designer and Union Paving and Construction Co. as the builder. The first project milestone was reached in September 2009 when the flyover ramp connecting GSP northbound to I-78 westbound was completed
Pavement reconstruction continues on I-78 in both directions near the Parkway interchange, a section of roadway that takes a beating from heavy truck traffic to and from nearby major ports. NJDOT also is extending and upgrading the acceleration and deceleration lanes, improving the capacity of ramps connecting motorists to the Parkway from I-78, and installing an Intelligent Transportation System for travel alerts.
All construction operations are expected to be completed in fall 2011.
For more information visit www.511nj.org.