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news release

Contact: Robert Corrales - Governor Corzine's Office
609-777-2600
NJDOT Communications - 609-530-4280
RELEASE: September 17, 2009

Office of the Governor

Governor Corzine announces opening
of first ever connection between GSP northbound
and I-78 westbound
Long awaited project, completed ahead of schedule,
improves quality of life for New Jerseyans


One of more than 200 ongoing transportation-related infrastructure projects in New Jersey; more than 11,000 people worked on transportation projects in August

(Union) – Governor Jon S. Corzine today officially opened a new flyover ramp creating the first ever link between the northbound Garden State Parkway with I-78 westbound. The new ramp is part of an ongoing $149 million project to improve traffic flow at the interchange of the two superhighways that will save an estimated 23,000 motorists precious time and fuel in their daily commute. The Governor was joined by DOT, the Turnpike Authority, state and local officials and dozens of construction workers to celebrate the opening

The I-78 project is one of more than 200 ongoing transportation-related infrastructure projects currently underway in the state, on which more than 11,000 people worked on in the month of August alone. The project complements other major investments by the Corzine Administration to provide I-78 motorists with smoother, safer trips and exemplifies a statewide commitment to invest in roadways to improve safety and mobility.

“Today is no ordinary ribbon cutting. Drivers have been waiting for this ramp for four decades,” Governor Corzine said. “With this new ramp, up to 20 minutes or more will be cut from the commutes and trips of more than 20,000 motorists and their passenger’s daily, giving drivers more time at home with their families.

“Overall, this project demonstrates how my Administration’s commitment to improving roads and creating jobs is paying dividends now by boosting the economy through our $3.6 billion transportation capital program, one of the most aggressive in state history. Better roads and bridges, more jobs, more transportation options, all of these things work together to bring us all a better quality of life.”

The new ramp, which will open to traffic after rush hour on Thursday September 17, allows drivers on the Garden State Parkway to reach destinations along New Jersey’s I-78 corridor without first having to double back from I-78 eastbound – a maneuver that can cost 10-20 minutes during busy travel times and historically has caused traffic back-ups on the Parkway and I-78.

Completed on budget and two weeks ahead of schedule, the new ramp is part of an ongoing $149 million project to improve traffic flow at the interchange of the two superhighways. More than 400 construction workers will now turn their attention to a similar ramp that will provide southbound Parkway motorists with direct access for the first time to I-78 East, which is expected to open in 2011.

I-78 motorists whose trips do not require the U-turn moves are also benefiting by less congestion on the roadway, which is used by 145,000 motorists and truckers per day.

“This project yields benefits well beyond the 23,000 motorists projected to use the ramp each day,” New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Stephen Dilts said. “By providing motorists with a direct route, we expect to see an improvement in I-78 and Garden State Parkway traffic flow, and reduced traffic on local routes, including US-22 through Union and Hillside.”

An upcoming phase of the project involves reconstructing I-78 pavement near the Parkway interchange, a section of roadway that takes a beating from heavy truck traffic to and from nearby major ports. Other elements include upgraded acceleration and deceleration lanes, improving the capacity of ramps connecting motorists to the Parkway from I-78, installing an Intelligent Transportation System for travel alerts and widening local bridges and shoulders along I-78.

TRANSPORTATION FAST FACTS

  • New Jersey is investing $3.6 billion in a capital program for roads, bridges and transit projects that help take pressure off roadways. The program is benefiting from $652 million in federal stimulus funding for roads and bridges and another $424 million for transit projects.
  • NJDOT has performed major pavement work on 27 percent of the state’s highways in the past four years, investing more in resurfacing in the past two years than the previous five years combined.
  • Investments in bridge repair and replacement have increased by 50 percent since 2006, to $600 million annually now.
  • As part of the state’s fix-it-first program, New Jersey transportation agencies are extending the life of road surfaces, and saving taxpayer dollars, by making road repairs when cracks and other problems first develop, to avoid more costly repairs later.
  • NJDOT is reconstructing the Route 78/Garden State Parkway Interchange 142 in Hillside and Union Townships, Union County and Irvington Township, Essex County. The $121 million project is utilizing federal funds, state funds and NJ Turnpike Authority funding. The project will reduce congestion by providing new ramps from the Garden State Parkway to Route 78, including the missing moves from the northbound Garden State Parkway to Westbound I-78 and southbound Garden State Parkway to eastbound I-78. In addition, NJDOT will reconstruct a one-mile stretch of pavement on I-78, widen the bridges on I-78, and add new acceleration and deceleration lanes.

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Photos from Governor Corzine's public events are available at www.nj.gov/governor/news

Video from the Governor's Office is available at www.nj.gov/governor/news/video and www.youtube.com/user/jonscorzine


 
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