New Road-Route 1 Intersection Project Targeted for Summer Completion
Other Route 1 intersection improvement projects for Ridge Road, Henderson Road and Deans Lane on hold until funding is available.
An improvement project at one of South Brunswick's troublesome Route 1 intersections is expected to be completed by this summer, while the other intersections along the clogged roadway will have to wait.
Township officials said the New Jersey Department of Transportation expects to finish an improvement project at New Road and Route 1 by the summer, but work to improve intersections at Route 1 and Ridge Road, Henderson Road and Deans Lane, still awaits state funding.
"There's no doubt the DOT has these changes to make, they just ran out of money," said Mayor Frank Gambatese. "To do all of those intersection improvements will cost between $75 and $100 million, and they don't have that kind of funding. So if we can at least get New Road done this year I'll be happy."
The approximately $8.5 million project will reconfigure the jughandle at the intersection of Route 1 and New Road on the northbound side. The project will move the jughandle outlet further back towards the middle of New Road in the direction of Route 522 to allow improved access for motorists.
Gambatese added the township is hopeful the upgrade to the Route 1 intersection with Ridge Road will move forward within the next 18 months. The $2.2 million project is expected to alleviate the constant flooding issues that affect the intersection during periods of heavy rainfall.
"Ridge Road has drainage problems that have to be solved because it floods down there all the time," Gambatese said.
While intersection improvements would help reduce some traffic issues, officials said the project really just serves as a band aid until the state finally commits to widening Route 1 in South Brunswick.
It's been estimated that in order to expand Route 1 into three lanes on both sides of the 6.7 miles the roadway runs through South Brunswick, it would cost anywhere from $300 to $500 million dollars. The township has been waiting since the mid-1980's for that project to move forward.
"There will always be a problem with the various towns along the Route 1 corridor because they look at their own needs first and that's the way it is," Gambatese said. "Everybody has to take care of their own town, but there will never be major improvements in traffic until these bottlenecks along the corridor are taken care of by wideneing Route 1."