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Author Topic: Garden State Parkway  (Read 251801 times)

Roadrunner75

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Garden State Parkway
« on: July 30, 2014, 09:53:00 PM »

With all the construction projects currently going on along the GSP, I think it's time for its own thread.  I get to enjoy the 83-100 widening work every day, and it looks like the end is in sight for at least the contract from 83 to 88, with 3 bridges left to complete. 

Does anyone know the current status of the upgrade of 91 to a full interchange?  The new full interchanges at 88 and 89 are in progress now along with the widening work, but I don't see anything going on at 91 other than the bridge replacement for the widening project.  For awhile Ocean County was really pushing 91 (seemingly over the far more important 88/89 project) and it still appears on the County Engineering website, although I don't think it's been updated in awhile. 

Also, I've been hearing about a southbound exit for 83 in Toms River for years, but haven't seen anything in awhile.  I can't see any good place to put it anyway without causing a major traffic problem.




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roadman65

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 10:00:05 PM »

I see a straight ramp to CR 517 would be a good option.  Even a straight ramp to  US 9 that would T in to it just north of CR 571.   It should be signed for all the routes such as NB US 9, SB NJ 166, and CR 571 with the control point of Pleasant Plains.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 10:05:00 PM »

The construction on the Parkway in that area is absolutely crazy. We went on a Saturday for LBI, which is exit 63. From 98 to 63 took almost an hour. The shoulder installation still seems like it may wrap up by next year or so. I can't wait until the Bass River and Mullica River bridges are complete, as well as the new exits. Also further south, they are improving exits 41 and 37.
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Roadrunner75

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 10:11:37 PM »

I see a straight ramp to CR 517 would be a good option.  Even a straight ramp to  US 9 that would T in to it just north of CR 571.   It should be signed for all the routes such as NB US 9, SB NJ 166, and CR 571 with the control point of Pleasant Plains.
It's pretty tight between the GSP and 9 for an exit ramp to 571.  This stretch is often backed up to the GSP overpass without the help of merging GSP traffic, although they are widening 571 under the bridge to 4 lanes finally.  Route 9 also can back up pretty good north of 571 approaching the light.  I've thought about an exit to Whitty Road a little bit north, but unless they widen Whitty and Route 9 south from there, it'll be a complete disaster.  There has been talk of widening 9 from Toms River to Lakewood over the years, so maybe if that ever happens, the exit might work.  Another more elaborate option that might work a little better is to have the exit cross over the GSP and tie into the new roadway that allows access on and off the GSP northbound (the recently completed Lomell Lane).  However, the wooded area just SE of the 571 overpasses that would be the best alignment for such a ramp is preserved land under the County Natural Lands Trust.
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roadman65

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 10:49:25 AM »

I would say the NJTA needs to help by widening US 9 between just north of CR 571 from 2 to 6 lanes.  That would eliminate the problem with extra traffic being dumped onto US 9.  The right lane SB would default onto the GSP with the center lane being either or for NJ 166 or the SB GSP. The left lane would be, of course, NJ 166 SB.  The 83 ramp going south would become two lanes and 166 would remain two lanes under the GSP overpass and then narrow to the overall two lanes shortly afterwards.  NB would widen to three after the overpass and could do a drastic drop north of the new SB off ramp.

As far as US 9 getting widened south of Lakewood, do not hold your breath.  US 206 from Bedminster to Netcong, NJ 31 from Clinton to Washington, US 9 from Beachwood to Barnegate, NJ 23 from Stockholm to Sussex, and many other roads also need widening, but NJ is too broke to address even these.  Heck look how long it took NJDOT to finally widen US 1 from I-287 to US 9 in Edison/ Woodbridge.  It needed to be done back in the 80's as that Ford Avenue intersection was always a major chokepoint for drivers.  I lived near there from 87 to 90  and dreaded to drive through that particular intersection every day.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 10:52:50 AM by roadman65 »
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Sheryl Crowe

Roadrunner75

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 01:13:22 PM »

I don't expect 9 to be widened from Lakewood to Toms River for a long time if at all.  The County brings it up from time to time and complains about it, but I don't see it happening any time soon.  To partly compensate, Ocean County has gradually improved the nearby and parallel New Hampshire Ave. (CR 623), with the northern section now mostly 4 lanes, as a bypass of sorts to Route 9.  I don't think exit 83 SB will ever happen without widening on 9 north of 571.

Does anybody else read the Asbury Park Press, and if so, does anyone remember the "Joe on the Go" column?  Every Sunday he'd answer a reader's questions about the roads in the area, construction, etc. and would reach out to the appropriate agency for an answer.  Regarding the GSP, someone complained about the implementation of the northbound Express EZ-Pass lanes at the Asbury Park tolls, and how it created a dangerous weaving situation beyond where express and cash toll users had to cross paths in a very short distance to get into the express and local lanes.  I fully agree with the reader, as the Express EZ-Pass users (like me) keeping right for the local lanes have to compete with cash toll users just accelerating from the tolls who want to weave left across two lanes for the express lanes.  I've almost been taken out by people on the right on a few occasions (usually with them on a cell phone).  The weaving area is dangerously short and should be lengthened by moving the split further north (there is room) or just forcing all the cash toll users to stay in the local lanes.  Of course the NJTA responded to Joe on the Go that the design was fine and there wasn't a problem.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 01:22:49 PM »

The construction on the Parkway in that area is absolutely crazy. We went on a Saturday for LBI, which is exit 63. From 98 to 63 took almost an hour.

35 miles and took about an hour?  Man, that's fast for a Saturday on the Parkway! 
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NJRoadfan

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 05:27:05 PM »

Of course the NJTA responded to Joe on the Go that the design was fine and there wasn't a problem.

Try telling that to my mother, who almost got hit by someone cutting her off trying to get to the express lanes. Its a problem at the Raritan Plaza too, I even caught it on video (watch the pickup dart across the gore point).

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mtantillo

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 07:25:31 PM »

I think it would be a good idea to just make the cash people stay in the local lanes until the crossovers by Exit 116.
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Roadrunner75

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 08:35:06 PM »

It's the usual case where codes and design manuals are pointed to as justification, while common sense goes out the window.  "The book says it works".  It clearly doesn't, and they're having much slower, accelerating traffic cross paths with people tooling along at 80.  There is room to push the gore back a bit at the Asbury tolls, but the easier option is to allow access to the express lanes only from the express EZ-Pass.  They could accomplish that with minimal effort - a signage change, some restriping and maybe dumping a few Jersey barriers down and we're good to go.  I invite the Turnpike's engineers to drive it sometime and see for themselves.
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roadman65

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 09:44:29 PM »

It does not surprise me at all that they are doing this.  Until a series of accidents happen, then they will take action.  Also they forget that at Exit 37 they are presently brading the ramps with the Exit 38 on ramp due to weaving concerns.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 09:50:34 PM by roadman65 »
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 10:01:24 PM »

It does not surprise me at all that they are doing this.  Until a series of accidents happen, then they will take action.  Also they forget that at Exit 37 they are presently brading the ramps with the Exit 38 on ramp due to weaving concerns.
They are only braiding the SB ramp. NB will remain as is.

roadman65

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 10:05:02 PM »

I did not say that they were.  Yes the SB side is and my point was that if they consider that a concern than the plazas at Raritan and Asbury Park should be one as stated here.
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Sheryl Crowe

Roadrunner75

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 11:09:18 PM »

So when are we getting flyover ramps from GSP SB to AC Expressway EB and GSP NB to ACE WB?  That'll solve some weaving there for a few extra bucks.

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DeaconG

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 11:27:43 PM »

So when are we getting flyover ramps from GSP SB to AC Expressway EB and GSP NB to ACE WB?  That'll solve some weaving there for a few extra bucks.



But, but that's common sense!  It's needed! We can't have that! </sarc>

That would solve a LOT of problems, both for folks coming down from New York and folks coming up from Ocean City/The Wildwoods to get back to Philly.
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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 10:57:01 PM »

So when are we getting flyover ramps from GSP SB to AC Expressway EB and GSP NB to ACE WB?  That'll solve some weaving there for a few extra bucks.


I think at least the NB-WB ramp is in long-term plans, but $ is currently going to widening projects; fixing bridges gets money first, and then remaining ramp improvements. At the end of widenings a few years out, there may be improvements beyond those planned in the short term; that depends on the NJTA's Capital Plan. (They last did one in 2010, and that laid out the projects over the next several years.)

Roadrunner75

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2014, 08:16:45 PM »

I just looked at the project to braid the ramps SB at 37 and 38 on the NJTA's website as mentioned above - didn't know about this one, but this is definitely needed.  Although the SB exit at 37 is signed for US 322/40, I've always thought the signage once you get off the ramp is pretty terrible if you're actually trying to get to this road, as it actually dumps you onto CR 608.  Elimination of the old Cardiff Circle was a good move, but it made the route more circuitous to actually get to 322/40, and is poorly signed.
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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2014, 01:35:17 AM »

I just looked at the project to braid the ramps SB at 37 and 38 on the NJTA's website as mentioned above - didn't know about this one, but this is definitely needed.  Although the SB exit at 37 is signed for US 322/40, I've always thought the signage once you get off the ramp is pretty terrible if you're actually trying to get to this road, as it actually dumps you onto CR 608.  Elimination of the old Cardiff Circle was a good move, but it made the route more circuitous to actually get to 322/40, and is poorly signed.
There was consideration to eliminating Exit 37 entirely (or either of the two ramps), since it sits so close to 38 and you have 36 not far away, but it was determined that 37 provided enough usefulness, and I guess traffic volumes really aren't that heavy at that point, that the consideration was dropped.

bzakharin

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 09:14:07 AM »

I just looked at the project to braid the ramps SB at 37 and 38 on the NJTA's website as mentioned above - didn't know about this one, but this is definitely needed.  Although the SB exit at 37 is signed for US 322/40, I've always thought the signage once you get off the ramp is pretty terrible if you're actually trying to get to this road, as it actually dumps you onto CR 608.  Elimination of the old Cardiff Circle was a good move, but it made the route more circuitous to actually get to 322/40, and is poorly signed.
There was consideration to eliminating Exit 37 entirely (or either of the two ramps), since it sits so close to 38 and you have 36 not far away, but it was determined that 37 provided enough usefulness, and I guess traffic volumes really aren't that heavy at that point, that the consideration was dropped.

Exits 36/37 are incomplete. I could see combining them so that there is direct access to both directions of 40/322 from both directions of the Parkway. I'd prefer access to Tilton Road southbound be maintained as well, just because I'm using it, but I think the Black Horse Pike is more important and it would probably not lengthen anyone's drive a great deal if they had to use that to get to the local roads. As it stands, there is not a single full interchange on the GSP in all of Atlantic County, except 38. And none of the upcoming projects seem to change that.
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storm2k

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2014, 02:25:22 AM »

Thought this would be a good place to also keep tabs on the sign replacement project for 129 and north. So far, only seen a couple of new overheads put up near 131A and a few new signs that were tacked onto the new VMS overheads. They've replaced most of the gore point exit signs with MUTCD compliant ones. I noticed though that the ones for 131 in both directions and for 131A going southbound were installed but left covered and the old signs remain for now. Is it possible they're going to renumber 131 to 132 and make 131A southbound just be 131 since that is more MUTCD compliant? Also, have noticed that most of the concrete footings for the new sign bridges are almost all installed along the stretch through the Union tolls. I'm wondering when we might see new signs finally go up.
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bzakharin

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2014, 09:08:20 AM »

Thought this would be a good place to also keep tabs on the sign replacement project for 129 and north. So far, only seen a couple of new overheads put up near 131A and a few new signs that were tacked onto the new VMS overheads. They've replaced most of the gore point exit signs with MUTCD compliant ones. I noticed though that the ones for 131 in both directions and for 131A going southbound were installed but left covered and the old signs remain for now. Is it possible they're going to renumber 131 to 132 and make 131A southbound just be 131 since that is more MUTCD compliant? Also, have noticed that most of the concrete footings for the new sign bridges are almost all installed along the stretch through the Union tolls. I'm wondering when we might see new signs finally go up.
Why is the order 131A, 131B, 131 anyway? That doesn't make any sense. I would guess they were numbered in the order in which they were opened. Even if 131 opened first, why was it numbered 131 if the mile marker is beyond 132? Were the miles realigned? Was the exit moved?
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roadman65

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2014, 09:47:25 AM »

Did you know also that milepost 124 is south of Exit 123?  Mile 136 is closer to Exit 135 than it is to Exit 136 as well.  The 131 mess is not the only thing messy with exit numbers.
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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2014, 02:58:23 PM »

Quote
Why is the order 131A, 131B, 131 anyway? That doesn't make any sense. I would guess they were numbered in the order in which they were opened. Even if 131 opened first, why was it numbered 131 if the mile marker is beyond 132? Were the miles realigned? Was the exit moved?

Fairly certain that it's because when the Parkway was first built (this was the Route 4 Parkway built by the state, not the NJHA), there was the exit for Rt 27. The Metropark exits didn't come until 1969 or 70 when the train station and office buildings started getting built. The numbering thing, well that's just one of those fun New Jersey Highway Authority things that is legacy for the Parkway.
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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2014, 05:39:00 PM »

The exit numbers are all off from about 123 through 161. 120 and 163 are spot-on. Miles are almost 2 off from exits through Essex Co. Never figured out why.

PurdueBill

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Re: Garden State Parkway
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2014, 12:02:49 AM »

Why is the order 131A, 131B, 131 anyway? That doesn't make any sense. I would guess they were numbered in the order in which they were opened. Even if 131 opened first, why was it numbered 131 if the mile marker is beyond 132? Were the miles realigned? Was the exit moved?

Reminds me of the old Ohio Turnpike exit numbers going 2, 3, 3B, 3A, 4.  Exit 3A was added between 3 and 4, then 3B between 3 and 3A. 
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