The Garden State Parkway (GSP) travels the length of the state between Cape May and Chestnut Ridge, New York. Varying between four lanes to the south and ten lanes with four roadways at South Amboy, the toll road joins the coastal reaches of South Jersey and Atlantic City with urban North Jersey and New York City. Tolls are levied along the entire route except the stretch between the Raritan River and U.S. 22 at Union. The 172.40-mile route of the GSP doubles as unsigned New Jersey Route 444.
Building of the Garden State Parkway commenced in Bergen County in 1946 on a four-mile section. 16 miles were constructed by 1953, leading to the creation of the New Jersey Highway Authority to expedite work. The entire 173-mile route was completed in 1957, costing $330 million.4 The two and a half mile link between the Garden State Parkway and New York Thruway (I-87/287) was dedicated by New York Governor Averell Harriman and other officials on August 31, 1957.6
Commercial trucks are prohibited from using the Garden State Parkway from Exit 105 northward. However south of Exit 105, the road is opened to all vehicles. Even further south, the Parkway and U.S. 9 overlap in two locations: once as a bypass (Mileposts 81-84) and again along a shared river crossing (Mileposts 48-51).1
A portion of the Garden State Parkway in Middle township, Cape May County travels at-grade with intersections in place of interchanges. This stretch includes a turn-off southbound for Mechanic Street, a driveway northbound for an adjacent business and a northbound turn-off for Holmes Landing Road. Construction underway between December 2012 and 2015 upgrades the signalized intersections of Exits 9 (Shellbay Avenue), 10 (CR 657) and 11 (Crest Haven Road) with grade separated interchanges.2
Construction underway between June 2014 and 2017 addresses two left-hand exits (Exit 163 north and south) from the Garden State Parkway to New Jersey 17 at Paramus. The $68-million project shifts a half mile stretch of the GSP mainline toward the median, with the existing ramps retained but now passing under the Parkway and joining it from the right. Exit 163 represented a historical northern terminus of the parkway.4
Widening of the Garden State Parkway to six overall lanes between Exits 30 and 80is also midway complete. The multi-phase project was completed between mileposts 63 and 80 in conjunction with the installation of Express E-ZPass lanes at the Barnegat Toll Plaza in May 2011. The second phase started that same year and expands the parkway between mileposts 48 and 63. The portion between mileposts 52 and 63 was finished in summer 2013. The remainder will be completed following the Bass River Bridge rehabilitation by the end of 2015. Third phase work focuses on mileposts 35 to 48. It started in 2014 and runs through 2017.5
Garden State Parkway Guides
|Garden State Parkway southbound at Exit 10 (Dennisville Road west / Stone Harbor Boulevard east). The Parkway widens to three lanes in each direction through this stretch to help keep traffic headed to the Wildwood and Cape May beaches moving during the summer.3 Photo taken 02/15/08.|
|Crest Haven Boulevard eastbound at the Garden State Parkway (Exit 11). Crest Haven Boulevard (CR 609) spurs east from U.S. 9 across the parkway to join Moore Road (CR 663), a northbound side frontage road. Photo taken 02/15/08.|
|New Jersey 36 ends at the Eatontown Spur from the Garden State Parkway. The spur connects Exit 105 with New Jersey 36 east to Long Branch and Monmouth County 51 (Hope Road) south to the New Jersey 18 freeway to Asbury Park. Pictured here is the westbound Eatontown Spur on-ramp to the Garden State Parkway south for Lakewood and Atlantic City. Photo taken 08/29/05.|
|Drivers along the Eatontown Spur first enter a toll plaza and then partition into ramps to the Express and Local roadways of the GSP. The GSP heads north to South Amboy, Union, and Irvington. Photo taken 08/29/05.|
|The GSP Express / Local configuration runs northward from Macedona to the Raritan River bridge. The Express lanes provide a relatively uninterrupted drive to Woodbridge, while the Local lanes serve all interchanges between Eatontown and South Amboy. Photo taken 08/29/05.|
- Kotchi, Al. Email: "AARoads feedback: New Garden State Parkway Guide," April 17, 2008.
- "Garden State Parkway - Interchanges 9, 10, and 11 Improvements." New Jersey Turnpike Authority web site, accessed April 29, 2014.
- Rich K. Email: "Garden State Parkway," April 22, 2008.
- "Left-lane Garden State Parkway exits to Route 17 in Paramus to be replaced in $68M project." NorthJersey.com, April 29, 2014.
- "Thruway Link to Jersey Open." The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), August 31, 1957.
- 08/29/05 by AARoads. 02/15/08 by Rich K.
Page Updated 09-08-2015.