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The Commissioner's Report


I-78 in Union finishes ahead of schedule

The Department of Transportation (NJDOT) exceeded its own expectations when it recently opened the newly reconstructed express lanes on one of the state's most traveled roadways just in time for the busy holiday season.

Working on an accelerated schedule, NJDOT delivered the first phase of the $42 million I-78 pavement reconstruction in Union Township on November 21 instead of December 8.

A renegotiated agreement with the contractor, Union Paving and Construction, which made it possible to open the express lanes 18 days early at a cost of $900,000. The re-negotiation provided convenience and safety for the 145,000 motorists who use the roadway daily and the workers on the job.

I-78 photo
I-78 in Union Township

Motorists now enjoy smooth express lanes with new drainage to prevent flooding. They will also save up to 20 minutes that was added to their commute due to the slower driving conditions when the project started in August.

Signs with real travel times, local outreach and a media campaign alerted motorists of the traffic pattern changes.

While safety was of paramount concern, economies were also important.

The rubblization process used for the roadway reconstruction fractured Portland cement pavement that served as a base course for the new overlay. Since the work is done in place, there are no hauling or disposal costs, making it a more effective rehabilitation method. NJDOT saved $11 million, reduced construction time by one year and increased the life expectancy of the pavement by ten years by reconstructing the express lanes simultaneously.

Looking ahead, NJDOT will reconstruct the local lanes that motorists used during the express lane project in the first half of 2007.

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  December 5, 2006