New Jersey Roads - Middlesex-Essex Turnpike

Middlesex-Essex Turnpike

The Middlesex-Essex Turnpike exists in several pieces, broken up by the Northeast Corridor railroad and a couple of parks. Here's one from the southern reaches of the Turnpike, leaving Metropark in Menlo Park.

The Turnpike restarts north of NJ 35 as New Brunswick Ave. - the name should tell you - and the old alignment heads through a parking lot and Merrill Co. Park before becoming Middlesex Ave. (again, obvious name). It then gets cut off again by that same park (which had been hiding on the west side of the railroad tracks), and that's where these photos were taken, looking south down the old alignment through the park. It appears to still be in use for park vehicles; there's a dirt access to the right of the guiderail in the first photo.

Looking back north at Middlesex Ave. Other streets in the development to the north are named after other counties, but this one is the original.

Original pavement is plentiful along the now-dirt trail.

Walking south to an old bridge, which breaks the dirt with concrete slab. It appears to have a primitive form of crash barrels - a couple of rocks arranged in front of the bridge rail.

Broken remains of stone-and-cement drains from the road to the creek below.

Heading back north to my car.

Some of the other pieces of the old Turnpike north of Merrill County Park. It's now a residential street with many dead-ends, but that's how development went back in the day - build your house along the road (which happened to follow the railroad), and development grew from there.

To finish the saga: South of this area, the Turnpike continues to Wood Ave. S. in Woodbridge (Iselin), where it turns into Thornall St. The following photo is SB at that intersection:

The turnpike alignment crosses the Northeast Corridor where Thornall St. now bends away, and then NJ 27 curves into the Turnpike on the west side of the tracks (Middlesex Ave. again). NJ 27 turns off, and CR 501 continues straight before turning onto New Durham Rd. CR 501 does this because of the railroad tracks, and those same tracks end the old Turnpike once again, but it picks up as NJ 27 once more, now called Essex Ave. (again, very obvious). So there you have it.

Into Middlesex County
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