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route 18 reconstruction graphic


The construction on this project has been completed.

Route 18 in New Brunswick, Middlesex County, is undergoing long-awaited major reconstruction and related improvements to motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist safety. A contract was awarded to Conti Enterprises of South Plainfield in March 2005.

This $200 million multiple-stage project is estimated to last four years. The reconstruction of Route 18 will begin just north of Route 1 and extend north to the NJ TRANSIT/Amtrak Northeast Corridor rail bridge.

albany street bridge looking west graphic
Albany Street Bridge looking west

Planning for this work has involved many members of the community for more than a decade. A Community Partnering Team has been officially working with NJDOT since 1999. Public Information Centers held in March 2002 and June 2001 led to many items being incorporated into the reconstruction.

Ongoing cooperation will continue to ensure a response to community issues that may arise during construction. For example, the Community Partnering team will review each stage of construction prior to its inception. Meetings will be posted.

The public will be able to get information from variable message signs, radio traffic reports, NJ511 travel information, njcommuter.com and other online and electronic outlets at schools and workplaces. Go to NJ511 web site

Background. Route 18 is an urban principal arterial route that serves the regional and local transportation needs of more than 85,000 vehicles per day. It is one of the primary thoroughfares in the region and provides access to downtown New Brunswick, Rutgers University, hospitals, major corporations, local businesses, performing arts centers and residential neighborhoods.

In addition, this highway offers an entrance to the Raritan River waterfront and Boyd Park and a link to the NJ TRANSIT's Northeast Corridor trains that run between New York City and Trenton and connect to other points in New Jersey.
commercial avenue bridge and boyd park looking southeast graphic
Commercial Avenue Bridge and Boyd Park looking southeast
new street bridge looking north graphic
The George Street Bridge was built in the early 1950s, the New Street interchange in the early 1960s and the Route 27 interchange in the late 1970s.

New Street Bridge looking north

The worn footpaths that are present throughout the project limits indicate a demand for pedestrian facilities that do not currently exist within this section of the Route 18 corridor.

Extensive archeological, social and environmental studies prepared the way for this work.

Improvements. The purpose of this project is to enhance the safety and operations of this section of Route 18. The reconstruction will improve corridor traffic operations by eliminating substandard roadway geometric features, managing access to and from the New Brunswick and enhancing access and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.

Reconstruction improvements will include:

  • New outer roadways will be built to separate local
    traffic from the expressway traffic. Both the northbound and southbound outer roadways will allow access to and from the city by meeting new bridges at George Street, Commercial Avenue, New Street and Albany Street.

    The outer roadways will also have wide multi-use paths along their entire lengths and at each bridge crossing to connect the city, its institutions, residential and recreational areas.
  • Safer pedestrian crossings will be provided with traffic
    signals at Paulus Boulevard, George Street and Commercial Avenue, and pedestrian bridges at Carpender Road and Richmond Street. Connection to the pedestrian bridge at New Street will be improved.
  • A ramped promenade from the new bridge at
    Commercial Avenue will provide a scenic vista of the Raritan River click to enlarge imageand a grand entranceway for pedestrians into Boyd Park. Improvements also include a new amphitheater adjacent to the park pavilion and take in the area closest to the outer roadway.
  • Boyd Park will be extended into the former City Docks
    area and a new boat ramp and picnic pavilion, along with ample parking for the park will be provided.
  • New sidewalks and lighting will be provided throughout
    areas that pedestrians and bicyclists use.
  • Noise walls will be constructed to buffer several
    residential locations.
  • Aesthetics in the Route 18 reconstruction area will be
    enhanced by burying utilities underground, extensive landscaping and architectural and other urban design treatments. The Albany Street tunnel and the Richmond Street bridge will be constructed with a sensitivity to their neighborhoods.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  January 26, 2010