New Street interchange to reopen to traffic
$200 million Route 18 reconstruction in New Brunswick moves forward
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced a major milestone in the $200 million Route 18 reconstruction project in New Brunswick. The rebuilt New Street interchange will open to traffic and the Commercial Avenue interchange will close on Friday, October 27 at 9 p.m.
“The reconstructed New Street interchange will provide improved access to the city of New Brunswick for motorists traveling Route 18,” noted Kolluri. “Opening this interchange to the public and starting the reconstruction of the Commercial Avenue interchange demonstrates NJDOT’s excellent progress on the entire Route 18 reconstruction project.”
NJDOT fully reconstructed the New Street interchange in order to accommodate the widening of Route 18. The New Street overpass bridge was demolished and replaced with a new structure that connects traffic from Route 18 northbound with the City of New Brunswick. The interchange also features new access ramps to and from Route 18 southbound and New Street. NJDOT also has repaved Route 18 through the interchange and installed new striping, signage, and lighting to ensure safety and improve traffic flow. Motorists should continue to use Commercial Avenue to travel from Route 18 southbound to local streets.
When the New Street interchange reopens, NJDOT will begin the reconstruction of the Commercial Avenue interchange. Crews will remove the traffic signal and eliminate the double left-turn from Route 18 northbound onto Commercial Avenue. Barrier curb will be placed at this location to prevent left turns onto Commercial Avenue. In addition, the third lane on Route 18 northbound will end at George Street, rather than its current terminus at Albany Street. NJDOT will install deceleration lanes for the exits at New Street and Albany Street. All work is weather permitting.
NJDOT will provide the following detours to help motorists navigate the Commercial Avenue interchange:
From Route 18 northbound onto Commercial Avenue
Trucks: Exit Route 18 northbound at New Street. Turn left onto Livingston Avenue, then turn left onto Suydam Street and turn left onto Commercial Avenue.
Passenger Cars: Exit Route 18 northbound at New Street. Turn left onto George Street, then turn left onto Commercial Avenue.
From Commercial Avenue onto Route 18 northbound
Trucks: Take Suydam Street then turn right onto Livingston Avenue, then turn right onto New Street. Take New Street to the Route 18 northbound ramp.
Passenger Cars: From George Street, turn right onto New Street to Route 18 northbound ramp.
This project will fully reconstruct Route 18 from Route 1 to the NJ TRANSIT/Amtrak Northeast Corridor rail bridge and add auxiliary lanes in both directions to reduce the extreme congestion caused by vehicles traveling in and out of downtown New Brunswick. An average of 80,000 cars per day travel on Route 18 in New Brunswick, including vehicles heading into downtown New Brunswick and destinations such as Rutgers University, Johnson & Johnson’s corporate headquarters, Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. NJDOT’s contractor, Conti Enterprises of South Plainfield, began the reconstruction of Route 18 in August 2005 and is expected to be complete the project in summer 2009.
Motorists are encouraged to drive carefully to protect themselves and workers in the construction zone. Variable Message Signs will be in place to inform motorists of the changes in traffic pattern. Real time travel and construction information is available online at www.njcommuter.com. NJDOT's Route 18 web site, lists the specific work taking place each month. Information regarding ridesharing, public transportation and park and rides serving the Route 18 project area also can be found online.