Declaring it a win for commuters and truckers and a boon to the local economy, Governor Phil Murphy today lauded the completion of a $172 million construction project designed to ease congestion through busy Interchange 14A on the Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike. He was joined at the ribbon cutting by NJ Turnpike Authority Executive Director John Keller, Acting NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, local elected officials, and Commissioners of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
More than 50,000 vehicles travel through Interchange 14A on a typical weekday. The volume was more than the interchange could handle. A 2007 Turnpike Authority study of all Turnpike interchanges north of 8A found that 14A was the one most in need of improvements. Accident and incident rates at the interchange were high. Congestion was a daily occurrence, both at the interchange and on the streets nearby.
Several of the improvements are complete and are already open to traffic:
- The toll plaza has been widened by two lanes, one entry lane and one exit lane.
- The ramp connecting the plaza to the westbound Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension has been widened from one lane to two, providing more room for vehicles to “stack” as they wait to merge onto the westbound Extension. The additional stacking capacity makes it less likely that traffic will back up through the toll plaza.
- The capacity of the connector bridge between the toll plaza and Route 440, Route 185, and Port Jersey Boulevard has been doubled. Before, it was a single structure with one lane in each direction. That structure has been demolished and replaced with two separate two-lane structures, one carrying traffic toward the toll plaza, the other carrying it away from the toll plaza. The additional capacity will mean less congestion.
- The traffic signal near the toll plaza at Avenue E at 53rd Street has been eliminated. The round-about that replaced the signal is expected to improve the circulation of traffic through the toll plaza and on nearby city streets.
- The last major component of the Interchange 14A project is a ramp connecting traffic to Route 440 south and providing a direct route from the toll plaza to Chosin Few Way. The ramp will reduce congestion on streets around the port facility and encourage economic development by improving access to the MOTBY site. The ramp is now open.
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