Governor Corzine marks completion of Route 18 reconstruction
$200 million project enhances economic revitalization of New Brunswick
(New Brunswick) – Praising the project for enhancing economic revitalization, creating jobs and improving commercial opportunities for business, Governor Jon S. Corzine today announced the completion of the Route 18 reconstruction. Over 600 jobs were created and supported throughout the $200 million project.
“Today we mark the completion of Route 18, a major transportation artery that not only provides access to downtown New Brunswick and Rutgers, but regional hospitals, major corporations, local businesses and residential communities,” Governor Corzine said. “For that reason, Route 18 is a shining example of how public works projects can stimulate our economy through investment and job creation for our citizens.”
The project is estimated to generate $90 million in income for New Jersey workers and has added an estimated $115.7 million to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Over 80,000 cars per day travel on the heavily congested Route 18 bound for downtown New Brunswick entities including Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Headquarters, Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The improvements will reduce traffic congestion and increase mobility throughout the New Brunswick area, reducing travel time from about 30 minutes to about 10 minutes from I-287 to Route 1.
NJDOT built new outer roadways to separate Route 18 local traffic from express traffic. The outer roadways allow access to and from New Brunswick via new bridges at George Street, Commercial Avenue, New Street and Albany Street. The outer roadways now feature wide multi-use paths to connect the city, its institutions, and residential and recreational areas.
Protected pedestrian crossings have been provided with traffic signals at Paulus Boulevard, George Street, and Commercial Avenue. NJDOT also built pedestrian bridges at Carpenter Road and Richmond Street. A ramped promenade from the new bridge at Commercial Avenue provides a scenic view of the Raritan River and an entranceway for pedestrians into Boyd Park. Improvements also include a new amphitheater adjacent to the park pavilion.
NJDOT reconstructed Route 18 in a manner that minimally impacted the New Brunswick community and Route 18 motorists, taking into account factors such as residents’ concerns, Rutgers University scheduling, and the needs of the health care and corporate communities.