New Jersey Roads - Garden State Parkway - SB - Raritan-NJ 72
Garden State Parkway SB, Raritan River to NJ 72
In summer of 2004, expansion of the Alfred Driscoll (I think his middle initial is P.) Bridge was in progress from the north shore of the Raritan River. The current bridge is 12 lanes, 6 each direction, but 10' wide and with negligible shoulders. If you do the math, 12 10' lanes is 10 12' lanes. Add shoulders, and you end up with the number 8. Once the new span is complete and the old one touched up, the old one will carry 8 northbound lanes, possibly in a configuration that separates Exit 127 and/or 129 traffic from the mainline. The new span is only equipped for seven lanes, curiously, especially curious given that the Raritan tollbooth is now southbound-only; as part of Express E-ZPass installation at more mainline Parkway tollbooths, they are being alternately demolished NB and SB, and tolls doubled to 70 cents. Why not 75 cents?
All of these photographs were taken from Smith Street, which runs right along the river, by the construction entrance, and to a bunch of cool signage at either end. The first photo shows the limit of the bridge work, with the tie-in to the main roadway to be performed later. The second photo shows the little bit of multilane-age that Smith Street gets to enjoy, as a divided highway that's more a set of ramps than a highway. The rest of the photos show the limits of construction as of August 2004, with the new US 9 span to the left of the second-from-last photo.
In late summer 2006, the southbound lanes are almost all open, and the old southbound lanes are under rehabilitation to become the new northbound lanes; the existing northbound lanes will become the lanes for Exit 127.
A new traffic patterns BEGINS DECEMBER 29, 2004, as construction progressed to add E-ZPass high-speed lanes to the now-SB only Raritan tollbooth - specifically, this new pattern put all E-ZPass lanes to the left of a barrier, and all cash lanes to the right, with toll equipment upgrades going on between the two behind some barriers. The last two photos are left and right on the same gantry.
Only in the SB local lanes does this exit have squareless shields (i.e. missing their traditional black background), a practice that's starting to creep over NJ's newest signage and has long been infiltrating the Garden State Parkway stealthily. The centered, separate exit tab is another Parkway-specific, non-uniform practice (scroll around this page for more).
In the express lanes, the first sign should have larger shields and a smaller arrow.
As if anyone was going 55.
The first sign, courtesy Scott Colbert, comes ¼-mile after a 2 mile advance sign, has an awful 195, and in both of these NJ 138 is clearly patched over something. Could it be NJ 38, which was originally intended to cross New Jersey and link up with current NJ 38 near Cherry Hill? The signs don't seem old enough to me, but Scott traced them back to December 1987, a scant few months before this became 138. Great detective work!
The first photo is to show you how tiny the mile markers are. The second is to show you an old centered and unlabeled exit number with far too many arrows.
Usually, when new signs go in, they're not already missing something, but these were replaced prior to the opening of the C-D road that now links Exits 88 and 89, so they had to leave space for NJ 70. That's why the Exit 88 sign was left to age in the field.
The last photo is courtesy Scott Colbert. Random appearance of button copy, more backgroundlessness (now the norm), and a helpful but nonstandard curve warning. Why isn't this 82A/82B?
All the Exit 77 signage looks like this, from Scott Colbert - guess the Turnpike Authority forgot to contract out the use of an engineer's curve.
Still from Scott, this was the SB-off half of the half-diamond that was Exit 74 (CR 614); now it's a full folded-diamond, meaning that SB-on and NB-off ramps have been added. I don't know why this ramp was demolished just to make a loop on the other side, and why there couldn't have been a full diamond instead.
I hope this is temporary. It sure deters me from wanting to steal it.
New sign, looks fine? Get out your ruler, the NJ 72 shield is well off-center.
Over to the NB lanes
Back north on the SB lanes
Back to Garden State Parkway main page
Exit 105 to NJ 35
Exit 105 to NJ 36
Exit 98 to I-195, NJ 34, or NJ 138
Exit 91 to CR 549
Exit 89 to CR 528
Exit 88 to NJ 70
Exit 82 to NJ 37
Exit 63 to NJ 72
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