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Route 1 and New Road Jughandle Improvement Project Approved

Jughandle improvements, repaving and drainage projects on tap along Route 1 beginning this summer.

Slowly but surely, the commuter nightmare that is Route 1 in South Brunswick is being recognized by the state.

Township officials said the New Jersey Department of Transportation has approved an approximately $8.5 million project that will reconfigure the jughandle at the intersection of Route 1 and New Road on the northbound side.

"Right now we can only stack about two cars at that intersection," said Mayor Frank Gambatese. "It's crucial for our residents to have that stacking lane be able to fit about five to ten cars. It's a mess because cars are sitting at that intersection for two or three lights just to get through."

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.

The intersection improvement is one of several upgrades the DOT is expected to perform on Route 1 over the next year. Starting on July 2, the DOT will begin a project to repave Route 1 from College Road in Plainsboro through South Brunswick and into North Brunswick. 

Once the repaving work is finished, the DOT is expected to begin working on the New Road jughandle project. Gambatese said that project could be finished by the summer of 2013, weather permitting.

"The township was able to acquire the land for the New Road project from about three or four property owners that the state will reimburse us for," he said. "That helped move things along a little faster. This is one of our more important intersections so we're thrilled about this."

The pothole-ridden Route 130 is also on the state's radar for repaving. Gambatese said the DOT has $15 million set aside for a repaving project on Route 130 beginning in South Brunswick up to Route 1, but there is no time frame yet for that project.

In addition, Gambatese said the DOT will begin drainage improvements at the intersection of Route 1 and Ridge Road next year. The $2.2 million project is expected to begin in the fall of 2013. Officials expect the work to alleviate the constant flooding issues that affect the intersection during periods of heavy rainfall.

Finally, the DOT also has in place a $100 million concept plan for the long awaited widening of Route 1. However, the plan is only in the discussion phase.

"The DOT has that money set aside for widening Route 1, but it's just a concept plan at this point," Gambatese said. "I don't expect to still be alive when work finally begins to widen Route 1."

It's estimated that in order to expand Route 1 into three lanes on both sides of the roadway through South Brunswick, it would cost anywhere from $300 to $500 million dollars. for that project to move forward.

Even still, the mayor noted that the state finally seems to be listening to the township's requests for something to be done about the Route 1 nightmare in South Brunswick.

"We're very pleased that the state is hearing all the yelling we've been doing," Gambatese said. "We've been yelling about Route 1 for a long time and we're finally starting to make some headway."

What other intersections along Route 1 would you like to see improved? Tell us in the comments.

Gary szurkus June 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM
The Raymond rd jug handle needs attention as well , traffic from light back ups are a night mare. Let's get this project on the board as well.
raymond Weis June 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM
It's about time that they addressed the New Rd jughandle as it is simply awful to try and get through at certain times of day. Now if they would only open up Rte 1 to 3 lanes in each direction as it is in the towns both north and south of us that would really be a god-send.
Jerry Avins June 28, 2012 at 03:10 PM
As bad as the New Road jughandle is, I use it in preference to Sand Hills Road during rush hour. I can drive from New Road to Sand Hills Road through the streets of Kendall Park in less time than I spend waiting to cross Route 1 at the Sand Hills jughandle. I don't see much that can be done, though.
Rudy Ruedemann June 28, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Rudy Ruedemann While this is good news....It's really a short term band-aid approach. You can make the jug handles as long as you want, but there will still be problems moving through that intersection. The better long-term approach would be to start adding overpasses and removing lights. This would aid in the overall traffic flow while reducing both pollution from emissions, and driver frustration.
Ravi June 28, 2012 at 07:36 PM
The South Brunswick stretch of Rt 1 either from North or South is a nightmare everyday. With two lanes and garbage trucks zipping past on the left lane, with deplorable road condition, its a boon to most of the automobile body and tires shop in and around South Brunswick area. Finally with election is approaching, officials are waking up to give some reforming news to the township.
Marc C. Kollar June 29, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I would hope the expansion of Route 1 that was lightly discussed will include removing traffic lights from Henderson Road south to Promenade Blvd (Henderson, Deans, Sand Hills, New, and Wynwood). And from Raymond Road to Independence Way. This would obviously be a huge project because it would involve the building of multiple overpasses. However, I think it would best in the long run to allow for a greater free flow of traffic and a much better series of collection lights and connections onto and off of Route 1.
Hondagurl June 29, 2012 at 05:26 PM
fix those pot holes on route one between whispering woods and wynwood estates. yeah and those trucks need to slow down. they arent on a speedway. some drive 5 miles an hour and back up route 1. others tail gate you till you change lanes or wiz by you at 70 mph. where are the police then? no where to be found. when was the last time you saw a tractor trailer pulled over for speeding
Maggie June 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM
South Brunswick needs to address the entire route 1 mess. The other day at 8:15 the traffic was backed up on Ridge road to route one for a mile and a half. Not good. The entire road system needs to be addressed and a comprehensive plan developed.
HF48 July 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Plans are not the problem. There are plenty of plans. It's getting the money to pay for them. Acquiring the land to expand the roadway, doing the widening construction, building overpasses will cost a lot of money. It should have been done years ago.
Grumpy Bear July 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Route 1 South at Aaron Rd the road goes from three lanes to two just before the Raceway station, what a nightmare. I spend a lot of time waiting and waiting.
Jessie October 03, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Definitely need to add that third lane, merger on the south bound side before Finnegans lane is a nightmare!

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