Guide to New Jersey Roads, Traffic, and Construction Projects
Of course New Jersey it has its fair share of traffic jams and roadway challenges. Some of the oldest highways ever built in this country were along the East Coast, and with New Jersey’s fickle weather and high population, it’s natural that some roadways have become outdated and riddled with structural damage. Here's a few facts about the state of NJ's transportation industry:
- New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country.
- New Jersey is made up of work and school commuters.
- New Jersey is centrally located and considered a “corridor state” due to its close proximity to some of the most popular cities and vacation destinations on the East Coast.
- New Jersey is ranked the fifth worst traffic state in the country.
- Motorists in NJ spend one hour each week stuck in traffic.
- 40% of NJ roadways operate at capacity.
According to New Jersey Monthly, these spots in NJ have the worst traffic (especially during rush hours)- beware!
- Garden State Parkway
- U.S. Route 17
- Where I-295 connects with I-76 and NJ Route 42
- Walt Whitman Bridge, Ben Franklin Bridge, and the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge
- The New Jersey Turnpike
Potholes in New Jersey Roads
It has happened to everyone. You’re zoning out and singing along to your favorite song on the radio when a huge pothole comes out of nowhere and rocks your car. You spend the next few miles stressed out and worried that you have a flat tire and/or become hyper-aware so that you’re sure to miss the next one.
In New Jersey though, many roads are dotted with potholes that commuters hit on a daily basis, either because they don’t see them or they’re too afraid to swerve around them and risk hitting another driver. In 2014 the NJ Department of Transportation repaired approximately 275,000 potholes!
Here are some tips to avoid potholes:
- Watch out for puddles. They’re often deeper than they look.
- Drive more slowly. The velocity at which you hit a pothole has a direct effect on the damage done to your car.
- Don’t slam on your brakes when you see or hit a pothole.
- Don’t swerve when you see or hit a pothole. You can cross into traffic and cause an accident and/or you can damage your car’s alignment if you hit the pothole at an odd angle.
Here are some tips on what to do if you hit a pothole:
- Be proactive; check out the damage to your tire as soon as you can. Make sure your car is safe to drive. Are the tires inflated properly? Is the alignment okay? Take your car to a tire and wheel specialist if necessary.
- Contact the State of New Jersey Department of Transportation to report potholes within 90 days (if you’re looking for compensation). This process can take up to six months. http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/potholeform.shtm
Upgrades and Construction throughout New Jersey Roads
The American Society for Civil Engineers found that 66% of New Jersey’s roadways are in poor condition and that the average New Jersey motorist pays about $600 in vehicle damage every year. But as technology continues to advance (for example, the implementation of EZ Pass), the various transportation departments in NJ are taking action to keep drivers safe and expedite traveling.
- New Jersey Turnpike. In an effort to lessen traffic congestion and bottleneck scenarios, new miles of roadway will continuously be added to the Turnpike as well as additional lanes. Ramp alignments are also in the future to help with traffic flow and reduce the potential for trucks to overturn.
- Bridges. New Jersey is speckled with bridges, large and small. In total, there are 6,566 across the state. According to a report by Forward New Jersey, 9.5% of the state’s bridges are “structurally deficient” and another 26% are “functionally obsolete”. However, the state is working to repair and rehabilitate these bridges. On deck for rehab include:
- Delaware Memorial Bridge
- The Pulaski Skyway
- Route 3 Bridge
- Centerton Road Bridge
- Stony Brook Bridge
- Nottingham Way Bridge
- Glimmer Glass Bridge
Navigating the roadways in New Jersey is an everyday adventure, but if you’re aware of the challenges and you drive carefully, you can avoid the typical transportation pitfalls.