AASHTO Journal, 17 August 2012
NJDOT knew it needed to find a solution to the 30-year-old congestion problem along I-78 and the GSP, two of the busiest highways in the state. NJDOT identified two missing movements between the GSP and I-78 as the largest problem, as it caused about 1,200 vehicles per day to make a two-mile U-turn and 250 vehicles per hour to exist the GSP to use local roads. The congestion was becoming almost unbearable for those who drove through this area every day.
A plan was put in place by NJDOT to create two ramps — one in each direction — between the GSP and I-78 to eliminate the need for vehicles to make those unnecessary and time-consuming side-trips. NJDOT hoped that the two new movements would not only cut down on congestion, but also increase safety for drivers on the interchange, as the new ramps improved sight distance, widened ramp geometry, and increased weaving distance.
The $142 million I-78 and GSP Interchange 142 project was completed at the end of July 2011, a full six months ahead of schedule, which NJDOT credits to factors such as real-time traffic alerts, excellent staging, and a strong collaboration with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Federal Highway Administration.
The I-78 and GSP Interchange 142 project was recently honored as a regional winner in the America’s Transportation Award competition (AmericasTransportationAward.org). The project took home the award in the “Ahead of Schedule, Medium Project” category.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials features a Project of the Week in each edition of the AASHTO Journal to highlight excellent state transportation department projects that are completed on time, under budget, and/or using innovative management. To nominate a completed project that meets these criteria, please e-mail editor AT aashtojournal.org. Previous Project of the Week selections are available at projectprofiles.transportation.org.